HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, is leading half a dozen warships as the world’s largest test of mine warfare force gets under way.

The International Mine Counter-Measures Exercise, IMCMEX, focuses on keeping one of the world’s most important ‘choke pointsc for shipping open: the Straits of Bab-al-Mandeb, at the foot of the Red Sea, and the Strait of Hormuz. Gateway to and exit from the Gulf.

Lt Cdr ‘Millie’ Ingham, commanding officer of mineseweeper HMS Middleton said:

“Showcasing our ship and our sailors is not only a great opportunity for us to demonstrate what we can do, but also a chance for our families back home to be able to see the hard work that they support us in every day.”

Eight nations have committed ships to the exercise: aside from the Royal Navy, vessels from the USA, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan are involved.


  1. This is because they are preparing for Iran to fall on its azz when they violate the recent agreement. At least the U.K. leadership doesn’t have its head up its azz. I salute you all for your service!

    • Engineers have figured out a way to work around it until the problem is sorted. Simply running the ship at reduced capacity therefore reducing strain on propulsion systems. At least this is my understanding, but I am warfare branch and not based on a T45 so don’t know the ins and outs.

  2. Fast forward five years… the royal navy will have two carriers… six World beating destroyers… deadly attack submarines… future frigates… when formed in a battle group… all this will be forgotten. Rome wasn’t built in a day and when you actually read around type 45…they are just awesome. The Americans regularly have a type 45 as guard ship over their Arleigh Burke’s. The problems will be sorted… we will have enough jets and the Royal Navy will be back in business.

    • The problem is, that unless things change significantly all these ships are going to result in many in extended readiness, due to lack of sailors.

      We are also going to have the 3-6 new OPV’s, on top of the carriers, all of which require sailors.

      We lose HMS Ocean, but it is effectively being replaced with 2 carriers, so extra sailors.

      I however assume we save some sailors by having the light frigates instead of a full set of type 23s and i assume that the new frigates will require less sailors than the current ones, due to more automation.

      Hardware is only great, if we have the man power to make use of it.

      • I agree with the basic concern re manpower but on a picky point, I’m not sure we will end up with 3-6 new OPVs (if by “new” you mean “additional” which in fairness you might not). 3 new OPVs are in build with another 2 new announced in SDSR 2015 but there seems to be a widespread view that the earliest 3 existing OPVs (the batch 1s) will get phased out as the new ones come into service so we might only end up with 2 additional hulls to man, maybe only 1 additional if Clyde is also phased out as well but that is probably less likely so my guess is OPV fleet rising from current 4 to 6. Still needs extra bodies though. Maybe HMS Clyde might end up being one of the vessels that ends up in extended readiness leaving the 5 brand new OPVs as the main OPV force.

        • 0.p.v should be refitted to carry out frigate roll , better propulsion systems ciws system and toewd array sonar for asw duties sea sparrow and accosiated command control systems

    • one single battlegroup of1 xssn 1x type 45, an auxilliary,2x type 26 will take half of the fleet! if we have both carriers at sea ther will be no escorts

  3. The Royal Navy couldn’t defend the North Sea. Ships with no power, half in dock , a tiny sub force and frigates equipped with missiles the ruskies would laugh at. Now two floating gin palaces . Twenty Yank destroyers rammed to the gills with cruise / aegis and missiles that can actually sink ships ?Nah Distributed lethally ? Nah


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