LONDON, April 5 (NNN-AGENCIES) - HMS Dauntless, one of Britain's largest and most powerful air defence destroyers, has set sail for the Falkland Islands with tensions mounting between Britain and Argentina.
The Dauntless, a Type 45 Destroyer, left Portsmouth yesterday for a six-month deployment to the South Atlantic. However, it comes days after the 30th anniversary of the start of the war, according to BBC News.
The decision to send the ship has already prompted an official complaint by Argentina to the United Nations about Britain's "militarisation" in the South Atlantic.
Argentina's Foreign Ministry has accused David Cameron of "persistent glorification of colonialism" after the Prime Minister said Britain helped right "a profound wrong" during the 1982 war.
Dauntless, commissioned in 2010, will relieve HMS Montrose carrying out operations off West Africa and the wider South Atlantic.
It carries a crew of 190 and is one of the world's most advanced air-defence warships with stealth features which make it look like a fishing boat on radar.
Navy chiefs insist the ship's six-month deployment was "pre-planned and routine" and that the timing with the anniversary of the start of war was coincidence.
A total of 255 British servicemen and about 650 Argentines died after Britain sent a task force following the Argentine invasion on April 2, 1982.
Britain has controlled the Falklands since 1833 but Argentina claims the territory - which it calls the Malvinas - saying it inherited rights to them from Spain.
Cameron, who marked the anniversary in Britain, said he remained committed to upholding British sovereignty over the islands.
However, at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary in Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez attacked the British government's stance on the Falkland Islands, saying: "Every day that goes by it looks more ridiculous, more absurd to the eyes of the world."
She went on: "It is an injustice that in the 21st Century there are still colonial enclaves... 16 colonial enclaves throughout the world - 10 of those belonging to the United Kingdom."