HMS Lancaster conducted a freedom of navigation patrol in waters north of Russia.
The Royal Navy say that the Type 23 Frigate “demonstrated the UK’s commitment to the High North” after she sailed above the Scandinavian countries into the North Cape.
“The operation, entirely conducted in international waters and in a responsible manner, demonstrated the freedom of navigation on the high seas provided by the rules-based international system. This was also the case in September, when Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland, supported by RFA Tidespring, commanded a task group comprising Norwegian Frigate HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl and the United States Navy’s destroyer USS Ross.
Norway is a fellow member of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF); the UK-led high-readiness force of northern European nations that is capable of countering hybrid and conventional threats, as well as the Northern Group; a UK initiative formed of 12 nations aimed at providing effective defence and security cooperation in the region.”
Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said:
“The High North and Arctic region is vitally important to our security of the UK, as well as some of our closest Allies in Scandinavia, the Baltic Region and northern Europe. Deployments such as this, as well as our active engagement in the Northern Group and leadership of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), demonstrate to our allies and adversaries alike that the UK will be forward-leaning in supporting the security and stability of the region.”
Commander William Blackett, the Commanding Officer of HMS Lancaster, said:
“For HMS Lancaster, this short operation was a great way to close out a challenging year of trials and training. The Queen’s Frigate and her fine company have come a long way since emerging from refit – we are back where we belong on the front line and ready for the next task.”