The Royal Navy: Provides Security to Shipping in the Middle East


16 July 2019

Royal Navy warships are providing a continuous maritime security presence in the Gulf to reassure merchant shipping and safeguard the free flow of trade.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is today making her way towards the Middle East to join Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose and other ships on patrol in the region.

The UK has a long-standing presence in the Gulf and is working to de-escalate tensions and maintain free navigation through the region.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, Commander Will King, said: “The Royal Navy continues to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. 

“We are continuously monitoring the security situation here and are committed to maintaining freedom of navigation in accordance with international law.”

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most vital waterways in the world for international trade. 

One third of all the world’s oil carried by tankers passes through the Strait of Hormuz with an average of ten tankers sailing through every day carrying upwards of 17 million barrels of oil. 

There are seven Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, with embarked Royal Marines for force protection, now commited to the region. These are:

  • 1x Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, stationed in Bahrain until 2022 as part of the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Middle East;
  • 1x Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan;
  • 4x Mine Counter Measures Vessels HMS Ledbury, HMS Blyth, HMS Brocklesby and HMS Shoreham;
  • 1x Landing Ship Dock Auxiliary RFA Cardigan Bay.

Tanker RFA Wave Knight will also undertake operations in the region at the start of August as part of her long-planned deployment to the Middle East. Her role is to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential supplies to ships of the Royal Navy and our allies.

Later in the year, Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will deploy to the Gulf to take over from HMS Duncan.

The UK has a long-standing maritime security presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. Since 1980, ships of both the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have maintained a presence in the region 365 days a year.

The operation – codenamed Kipion – is part of the UK’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of trade through some of the world’s most vital shipping lanes.

Sue Terpilowski
Author: Sue Terpilowski