Royal Navy destroyer sent to the Gulf
UK defence secretary Grant Shapps has announced that HMS Diamond is en route to join Operation Kipion, the UK’s maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
The Type 45 Destroyer is intended to bolster the UK’s naval presence in the Gulf and work to deter escalations from malign and hostile actors who seek to disrupt maritime security.
HMS Diamond will will conduct operations to ensure freedom of navigation in the region, reassure merchant vessels and ensure the safe flow of trade. The destroyer is set to join HMS Lancaster, which deployed to the region last year, as well as three mine hunters and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) support ship.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Recent events have proven how critical the Middle East remains to global security and stability.
"From joint efforts to deter escalation, following the onset of the renewed conflict in Israel and Gaza, to now the unlawful and brazen seizure of MV Galaxy Leader by the Houthis in the Red Sea – it is critical that the UK bolsters our presence in the region, to keep Britain and our interests safe from a more volatile and contested world.
"Today’s deployment will strengthen the Royal Navy’s patrols, help to keep critical trade routes open and prove that our commitment to regional security not only endures but enhances."
Image: Alan Jamieson from Aberdeen, Scotland, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons