HMS Kent and HMS Defender have been deployed on operations to the Gulf and Asia Pacific respectively.

The Royal Navy say that Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will relieve HMS Duncan of her duties in the Gulf and is scheduled to work alongside US partners.

“She will be focused on providing regional maritime security, including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activities. She will also work alongside HMS Montrose to escort British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.”

Commander Andy Brown, Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, said:

“Today’s departure on operations has been achieved through the hard work and support of the ship’s company, their families and the wider defence enterprise. Our focus in the Gulf remains firmly one of deescalating the current tensions. But we are committed to upholding freedom of navigation and reassuring international shipping, which this deployment on operations aims to do.”

HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, is deploying to the Asia Pacific region.

According to the Royal Navy here:

“The deployment aims to strengthen already strong defence ties and demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity of the region. The presence of the ship proves the UK’s global reach with world-wide interests and world-leading defence capability.”

Commander Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer of HMS Defender said:

“This is an opportunity for HMS Defender to demonstrate the global reach of the Royal Navy as well as the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia Pacific region. I am very proud of the ship’s company and the many support organisations who have supported us to reach this point today.”

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Daniele Mandelli

Once the QEC carriers are both available with the established air wing, I hope these singleton deployments of T45 will end, and they are prioritised for carrier or Amphibs escort.

Similar with the T26 if it ever arrives!

For this the T31 and possibly more RB2 really need to hurry up.


Certainly seems like a ship ‘over capable’ for the task.


It will be interesting to see how many ships join HMS QE on her first global deployment. It will look pretty silly if we send her to the south China Sea with one escort ship.


USN CSF have,apart from the carrier and support ship, two permanently attached Arleigh Burke DDGs, a Ticonderoga class CG, asw frigate and an SSN.


Over capable?
No such thing.
During the 80s and 90s Armilla Patrols we had T42, T22 and Leanders doing the job.

As an aside, I was on Duncan yesterday and she has been fine…no issues at all with the temperature and conditions in the Gulf. ( Its 43 degs and 80% Humidity today…lovely!). So the issue with TLFs is, as I said over 12 months ago, dealt with and no longer an issue.

Hopefully I will meet up with Kent during the coming months as well as revisiting Montrose.


Both Kent and Defender have just finished working up post their system’s upgrades. Wonder if they’ll be sailing as a pair all the way to the Arabian Sea?
I hope they both have a safe, but fun tour.


I think he was on about the type 45 for patrols when it’s the most capable destroyer we have ever had isn’t it?

Anyways what do you do Gunbuster? In the gulf?


That was my point


Fix ships!


Sadly I suspect that depends on the task for the type 45. Their AA is first rate but their ASW capabilities are somewhat lacking – on bosrd anyway – sonar more i think for mine avoidance more than ASW. I pray that the type 31 will at least have a credible sonar fit and modest levels of quietness. Im hoping the MEKO or Arrowhead get selected in that regard. Tho with pennypinching MOD…….

peter french

Global reach ambitions are not realised with words, but with Naval power and that we all know is nul at the moment . We need urgent and I mean urgent ship build programmes and an increase to some 20 odd frigates and 8 to ten Destroyers , will we get them ha , ha


We probably have enough escorts if we stop sending them piece meal across the world, with the pressure on in the gulf do we really need a frigate in the Pacific. HMG has little strategy and even fewer resources, last year’s surge was sufficient to demonstrate our reach in the pacific but it should not come at the expense of interest’s in the Gulf. Next year we go back to the pacific with a CBG so what’s the point of sending a single destroyer out, I am sure they have lined up many training exercises with ally’s etc however with… Read more »

Steve R

Yes and no, I’d say. Yes, if we retasked our frigates and destroyers solely for fleet defence of the QE carriers then we’d have plenty: 2-3 each of Type 45 and Type 23 would be more than enough. However, this would then require us to have little to no assets elsewhere. We would have to abandon anti piracy patrols, anti drugs patrols and flying the flag to make UK presence felt. At a time when we need to be branching out, not retreating inward. To me this makes a case for the Type 31e Frigate. Build 6-10 of them and… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I agree. The T31 is the most important program for me. Save a vast increase in the defence budget, which is unrealistic, I see no other way to increase hill numbers at sensible cost.

Meirion X

Yes build more Type 31 frigates, 9 would meet the ‘Rule of Three’, So would 9 T26s!
I think the RN should consider procuring Iver Huitfeldts as AAW vessels, to supplement the T45s as carrier escorts?


Rule of three does not apply if you homeport vessel out of the UK. Thats why the T23 is now permanently Gulf based for 3 years. No work upd and no transits. It also saves around 1 mil quid in fuel doing the transits and handovers.


RN is now manning only 12 escorts, and 6 T45 and 8 T23ASW/T26 makes up 14. Yes, six T23s are in LIFEX but STILL 1-2 escorts are in extended readiness = no redundant crew exits. At least the first ~three T31e cannot be manned without keeping a few escorts in extended readiness. On this circumstance, I do not think T31e as a priority. First reuse the 1.5B GBP T31 money to increase operational cost to improve the sea-going days of active escorts from current ~120 days to ~180 days = the number in 2010-14. Second reuse the money for pay… Read more »

Steve R

The problem of small numbers of ships not being able to be in 2 places at once still exists then, though. As does the fast that we’re putting unnecessary wear and tear on very expensive ships like Type 45s for constabulary duties. Would be less of an issue of we had the original 12 planned but with only 6 it means a lot more miles on the clock for each of them! Type 31e would solve that by having more hulls in the water, able to do the lower end duties which saves miles on the Type 45s and Type… Read more »

Meirion X

Agreed, Steve!


Thanks. For any tasks such as for current Persian gulf situation, what is limiting RN now is surely not the hull number, but the ACTIVE hull number, and what is more the sea-going days of those active hulls. > The problem with crew numbers I feel is less of an issue; it just needs more recruitment drives, and more ships means more places available. It would also take a couple years at least before the first T31 is completed, so plenty of time to recruit and train them. My proposal is exactly to get “more recruitment drives”. Considering RN/MOD’s huge… Read more »


Moving the capital cost of the Trident sub build back to pre 2010 arrangements would be a step in the right direction.


I see no Harpoon on Defender… shouldn’t it have been possible to cross-deck with one of the 45s tied up? I know the threat level may not be as high as the Gulf but to me, that’s not how to run the military. It merely disguises the lack of funds to properly equip and arm our vessels. FFBNW has been shameful!!

Paul T

Out of curiousity I had a search of images,apart from some dubious pictures(cgi) I cant find any of her fitted with Harpoon,could it be the case that they have never been carried by D36 ?


Hey Paul,

I believe I have never seen her fitted with them either; same goes for Dragon. I can’t recall ever seeing Harpoon fitted to her. Doesn’t make any sense when you have 45s already tied up and not going anywhere.

Paul T

Perhaps they stay on their respective ships once fitted rather than get rotated,regardless of refits and maintenance schedules,just a thought.