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A British frigate is being deployed against people smugglers in the Mediterranean. HMS Richmond is to be sent to the coast of Libya to stop the human traffickers who are risking lives by taking refugees on the dangerous journey to Europe by sea.

HMS Richmond is the seventh ship tO bear the name and enjoys strong links to several affiliations in both Richmond upon Thames and Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The vessel is a Type 23 Frigate originally designed for anti-submarine warfare but addition of Seawolf anti-air missiles and Harpoon anti-ship missiles has expanded its role to more general taskings.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“The Royal Navy has rescued thousands of people from peril but we’ve been clear we have to tackle the gangs behind this, which is why it’s important the mission moves to the next phase.

We will not stand by and let this smuggling trade escalate; we will confront this criminal activity which risks the lives of innocent people every day.”

HMS Bulwark saved 3,000 lives in the Mediterranean and HMS Enterprise has saved over 450 so far.

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