The UK regularly reviews the number of RN and RFA vessels in the region, say the MoD.
While there is occasional overlap of ships when one deployment begins and another ends, this is not uncommon say the Ministry of Defence.
“These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine Op KIPION deployments,” according to an MoD news release.
There are 7 RN and RFA vessels, with embarked Royal Marines for force protection, currently deployed to Op KIPION:
1 x Type 23 Frigate
- HMS MONTROSE. The ship is due to undertake pre-planned maintenance and crew change during which she will be replaced by HMS DUNCAN.
1 x Type 45
- HMS DUNCAN is transiting to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS MONTROSE comes off task.
4 x Mine Counter Measures Vessels
- HMS LEDBURY
- HMS BLYTH
- HMS BROCKLESBY
- HMS SHOREHAM
1 x Landing ships Docking Auxiliary (LSDA) – Mine Counter Measures Support Ship
- RFA Cardigan Bay
Future routine deployments to Op KIPION include:
- RFA WAVE KNIGHT – The vessel will join OP KIPION tasking at the start of August as part of a long planned deployment to Op KIPION in the role of KIPION Ready Tanker. With a ship’s company of around 70 RFA personnel, RFA WAVE KNIGHT’s role is to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential supplies to RN and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ships.
- HMS KENT – Later in the year, Type 23 Frigate HMS KENT will deploy to the Gulf taking over from HMS DUNCAN, ensuring an unbroken presence.
This comes after Iranian naval craft unsuccessfully attempted to seize a British flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.
The tanker ‘British Heritage’ was reportedly sailing out of the Persian Gulf and was crossing into the Strait of Hormuz area when it was approached by boats from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
It is understood that the Iranians ordered the tanker to change course and stop in nearby Iranian territorial waters.
Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose had been escorting the tanker and it has been reportedthat the British warship ‘pointed its guns at the Iranian boats’ in order to deter the seizure.
The Iranian boats then reportedly withdrew after HMS Montrose warned them to move away.