Britain to deploy warship near disputed territory with Argentina

February 1, 2012 11:53 am 

LONDON, Feb.1 — The British Royal Navy announced on Tuesday it would send its latest high-tech destroyer to the South Atlantic, near the disputed territory of the Falkland Islands, which is called the Malvinas Islands by Argentina.

The destroyer, HMS Dauntless, will be deployed there for months.

As the Royal Navy's most powerful vessel, HMS Dauntless weighs 8,000 tons and has a crew of 190 with the capability of carrying 60 troops and handling a large helicopter. Its Sea Viper weapons system can shoot down aircraft within a 70-mile range, and it can handle multiple targets at the same time.

A spokesman of British Ministry of Defense told Xinhua Tuesday evening that "it's a routine deployment," adding that the Royal Navy "has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years."

"The deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on station," he said.

Argentina protested the Britain's decision, saying it "rejects the British intent to militarize a conflict" and will "follow all the necessary steps" to guarantee the security of the islands.

The islands, off Argentina's eastern coast, has been under British control since 1833. Argentina was defeated by Britain in a 74-day war in 1982 over the sovereignty of the islands.

Tensions between Britain and Argentina over the disputed territory are rising in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the 1982 war between the two countries.

Argentina recently banned ships carrying the Falkland Islands flag from docking in its ports, and several neighboring countries followed the move in a show of support to Argentina. (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/jnc

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