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HMS Portland was launched at the shipyard of the then Marconi Marine at Scotstown on the Clyde on 15 May 1999 by Lady Heather Brigstocke.

The Ship was accepted into service by the Royal Navy on 15 December 2000 and was commissioned on 3 May the following year. The penultimate in a class of fifteen ships, she achieved a top speed of 30.8 knots during contractor's sea trials in the Summer of 2000 and claims this as a record across the entire class. During the Ship's first visit to the Island of Portland in June 2001, the Earl of Portland gave his blessing to the Ship adopting his family motto "Craignez Honte", which translates as "Fear Dishonour". The family crest is also depicted on the flag HMS Portland flies whilst carrying out replenishment at sea operations.

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