HMS Trent has joined the fight against piracy in West African waters, say the Royal Navy.

HMS Trent will help protect more than £6 billion of UK trade that passes through the region.

According to the Royal Navy here:

“HMS Trent is in the Gulf of Guinea – one of the world’s piracy hotspots – as the UK looks to improve security and help prevent widespread piracy which has seen international shipping suffer, seafarers’ lives put in danger and damage caused to the economies of nearby nations. HMS Trent carries a specialist team of Royal Marines from 42 Commando who are experts in boarding operations, known officially as Maritime Interdiction Operations. The commandos have been sharing knowledge and expertise in the skills needed to board, search and – if needs be – seize suspect vessels.”

HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Tom Knott, was quoted as saying:

“I am extremely proud that HMS Trent is spearheading the Royal Navy’s return to West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. My Sailors and Royal Marines are highly trained in the delivery of Maritime Interdiction Operations and are working alongside regional partners to re-establish our understanding of this complex and vast waterspace.

Alongside the UK’s 2021 co-chairing of the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea we are targeting a collaborative approach to improving maritime security and to reassure the merchant shipping community. This will be an enduring commitment to West Africa. So far we’ve already enjoyed hosting school children, conservation groups, government representatives and military leaders on board Trent to build stronger links with the community and explain exactly why the Royal Navy is deployed to this region.”

You can read more here.

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Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Good news and a good start to my day. The reassurance provided and relationships built by the crews of these forward based Rivers is priceless.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Couldn’t agree more. 👍

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Things we never could have done without the extra hulls, and I expect more of the same once escort numbers rise.
Proof that, as they say, any hull is a goal.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Absolutely. The 5 Batch 2 Rivers enabled CSG2021.
I wouldn’t say the River 2 is any hull. With the Schiebel and RM it delivers equivalent anti-piracy function to a frigate at a fraction of the running costs – same endurance, half the crew and much lower fuel consumption.
And with its large flight deck and crane it has potential for other roles.

Sunny
Sunny
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

There is only one continent where their collective sovereignties can be violated with so much impunity because their political leaders are inept, self-serving and wicked that they failed to ensure law and order in their respective countries. If Nigeria is imploding by force of bigotry, will defence of territorial water be a priority? Absolutely, NO!

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Sunny

I agree that Nigeria has more serious issues; corruption and security are debilitating problems. But that does not negate the case for HMS Trent patrols; it reinforces it. We need to safeguard UK trade routes in the region. We need to be present there before the Chinese arrive with their cheap credit and who knows offers of security boots on the ground. I am hoping HMG is negotiating to base a battalion of the new Rangers in west Africa, hopefully Nigeria. I’m sure a sovereign Nigeria would prefer to sort the problems itself. The president is a Muslim so accepting… Read more »

Derek
Derek
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Speaking of good relations, how do the ‘other ranks’ of RM and RN get on in such a small vessel?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Derek

Dunno. My guess is spirits will be high; busy purposeful deployment, and generous well equipped accomodation for all ranks on the batch 2 Rivers.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

And yet again the RN are cutting about and doing what they do best. It seems like the RN have not stopped over the last few tears and the intensity of deployments with limited numbers is impressive to say the least. Well done all round. Now, can some of your head sheds pop along and show the Army how to prep and plan for the future.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Not half.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

Absolutely, it seems the RN are really getting back into their international stride after many years of being sidelined during the desert wars, with governments of both colours savagely cutting the Navy to pay for their never ending counter insurgency campaigns. Today the Senior Service has its PR totally nailed and is demonstrating its relevance and value to the tax payer in the post Afghanistan / Brexit world. To a slightly lesser degree perhaps, the RAF seems to have a bold vision of its future and a plan in place to get there. The Army on the other hand seems… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Just my view… Agree the RN have done well. The key issue they faced up to with forward basing was breaking the fixed 1:1 style relationship between crew and ship. Traditionally ‘She’, the physical hull, has been the focus around which unit survival, identity and team spirit are built. Ships are dedicated, launched, blessed. They are what stands between you and the ocean deep. They’re your mum. I think the army have learned from the RN. The equivalent issue for the army is the regimental cap badge. That’s your ‘mother ship’, your family. In fairness the army has a lot… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Mate don’t disagree at all but the question is, if people can transfer to the Ranger Bns, a number of questions are to be asked. First what is the selection, and, if they are utilising full (half full lol) Bns to start with, are we really sure those Bns have the correct quality of troops. Also, who is doing the training, what are the training teams, in house? Brecon? SFSG? what’s the career path? And if the quality does become high, how about the other Bns in the “regular” army losing it’s more motivated men? And will they become a… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well, it IS a fudge. I am not qualified to give an opinion on the challenges you raise. On the + side there is now the germ of a new target organisation which looks realistic and a mechanism for migrating soldiers and skills from old to new. No doubt it will be like walking through treacle and will require a lot of forbearance but it can be done ….provided the powers that be don’t change their minds.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

Just what they’re designed for. The challenge:-
https://north-africa.com/2021/11/denmarks-navy-patrol-unit-sinks-pirate-ship-off-nigeria-kills-four/
Seems the nice Danes are discovering their Viking mojo lately.

PeterDK
PeterDK
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Well, apparently they acted in self defence. The embarked Danish naval special forces are equivalent to SBS, and it would seem quite bold (or rather, stupid) to start a fire fight with them.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  PeterDK

Hi PeterDK,

I know someone who served on our patrols off Somalia back in the late 90’s. They told me that after a brush with pirates themselves they returned to port and pulled up behind a French frigate.

The French were still crying with laughter into their wine after they had arrested a punch of pirates who tired to sieze their ship!

I kid you not, they came aboard over the stern and the French sailors just pointed lots of guns at them and slapped the cuffs on, apparently…

Cheers CR

PeterDK
PeterDK
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR,
Thanks, interesting story….makes you wonder if they are doped up when they are on their raids. Or being fanatic.

Cheers,
PeterDK

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

No Longer, Danish Pastries,

George
George
1 month ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
Great to see,, some of “global Britain” in action. The Royal Navy is one of the best and most capable navies in the world, to deploy and sustainable across the globe if required to do so.
Cheers
George

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  George

H George. Sad news re the new COVID variant in RSA.
Hope you and family are safe and well.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

Very interesting. Hopefully this demonstrates to some of the naysayers one occasionally hears that RN vessels don’t need to be armed like Kirov class battle-cruisers to be really, really useful.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

In fairness they don’t. But the issue is more a case we don’t have any vessels armed like Kirovs, with the additional issue of us building new vessels – Type 31s that are more poorly armed than the older vessels they are intended to replace……

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

How many of the massive system on a Kirov actually work? Some of them are so old that even with upgrades they would be of more danger to the mother ship than the enemy. Are more valid ship for modern terms would be a T26 which will have real ASW teeth as well as having a Mk41 VLS which can do land attack as well as AAW depending on that is in it. Rounded off with a 5″ gun that will given anyone something to think about. The combo of the 2 x Phalanx + 2 x 30mm cannon +… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago

The T26 availability will be very tight at only 8 ships, so eventually 6 for ASW taskings and 2 to accompany the only one CSG. That’s why I think 2 more T26’s should be built.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Second that T26 thought. A T26 and an LSD makes a better LRG compared to a T31 I would have thought..

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Mid 70ts did a Soviet recognition study ,Sweldovs and Kirovs weapon systems and capabilities .it was judged that they would be unable too execute not more than 2 Automatic systems at the same time ,SB

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

There was also the physical issue of how massive a lot of the rockets were: so if you tried to fire a salvo you’d probably flip the ship over.

Then the massive heat dissipation issue which limits salvo rate.

They sure looked impressive but as we all found out post Glasnost even the crews didn’t believe most of the systems would work.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Aways wondered, about the level of Soviet dedication, of a Russian Sailor ,after watching armed guards on the upperdeck wf their Med fleet anchored of Libya in 78

simon
simon
1 month ago

Two of the Kirov’s have gone to the scrap yard, one is in reserve/refit and the other one is in service. I think the two left are 30 years old ?

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago

Good stuff. Just add one Schiebel camcopter and job done….or even something else to broaden the overall area picture.
AA

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

If they ever get Asi’s runway fixed would be perfect place to launch (Reapers/Protectors) from, add an S-100 on the B2 would have really good coverage and increase crew situational awareness 10 fold

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve M
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Being ready to fight a peer conflict and being able to strike other nations, support operations against other nations is a fundamental part of the RNs role, but it’s not the day job. it’s good to see that they are also starting to get more resources to do the day job which is keeping the sea lanes safe for the life blood of our nation, open trade routes.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I couldn’t agree more. The UK and NATO needs to plan for and prepare for the Third Battle of the Atlantic. Two world wars deomonstrate why that is, we very nearly lost both. If we are prepared for it we are less like to have to actually fight it. Deterence is something we need to consider as China is a rapidly rising naval power and is looking to develop overseas basing through its Belt and Road Initiative. Kenya appears to be in the sights now, but my real concern is Russia. With Climate Change the North East Passage… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Both Russia and China are have ambitions for naval bases in East Africa.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
1 month ago

A better title might have been, “Update on HMS Trent’s Gulf of Guinea Deployment”. I only mention that because they’ve been there several weeks. I thought maybe we’d see a longer article over at NavyLookout about this deployment and the batch II River’s fit for the role, that also has some historical context (West Africa Squadron). It would make for a fun read.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

Hi Ron,

The West Africa Squadron occured to me as well.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

How refreshing to read positive comments of the utility of these ships for a change rather than the usual “it needs this and that”

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago

Very refreshing 👍😃

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

…from people who only want to post positive or constructive comments rather than defamatory one liners and dross.
AA ⚓️

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Nah, still needs a 20″ laser cannon, mate. Chuck on a few daleks and a F35 and I’ll be happy.

Without trying to quote the usual speel, this is the perfect little deployment for the Rivers, and it offers a chance to engage with partners that we have sadly neglected for a little while. It also shows the value of Gib and forward-basing ships there. More of this, please!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Agreed. Gib is vital.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Being realistic we could put a 5inch gun, 24 Seaceptor, 8 heavyweight ASMs, a hanger for a merlin, x2 CIWs and some lightweight torpedos. Cram in the 140ish crew…… it would be lovely and I’m sure the stability issues and crew conditions could be managed by leaving them in harbour all the time.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Nah, stability issues would be fine. We need more submarines!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Yep the RN needs a day job type vessel as well as the fighting a peer enemy type ship. It’s often forgotten that the role of a navy is far more complex outside of war than say an Army ( which outside of war is fundamentally there as a deterrent and to prepare for war). So for all the huge number of day job tasks, anti piracy, preventing illegal trades, disaster management, keep sea lanes protected form threats etc, cheap utility vessels are needed. The 17-18c navy had unrated vessels, the Victorian and Edwardian navy had gunboats and the 20-21c… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan