During a two day visit to Oman, the Defence Secretary signed an agreement securing UK use of facilities at Duqm, ahead of the completion of the UK Joint Logistics Support Base at the port, giving Britain a strategically important and permanent maritime base east of Suez for the new carriers.

The Duqm Port complex provides significant opportunity to the defence, security and prosperity agendas for both the UK and Oman.

It has dry dock capability able to accommodate submarines and Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

According to a press release:

“From Duqm, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be able to project influence across an important region. She will fulfil multiple roles from providing air power anywhere at any time, to supporting allies or delivering humanitarian aid and the port itself provides Britain with a hub from which to tackle issues such as the fight against Daesh.”

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, said:

“This agreement ensures British engineering expertise will be involved in developing Duqm as a strategic port for the Middle East, benefiting the Royal Navy and others.

Oman is a longstanding British ally and we work closely across diplomatic, economic and security matters. Our commitment to the Duqm port project highlights the strength of our relationship.”

The release concludes:

“Through ensuring a permanent UK presence at Duqm, the UK will be able to shape the development of the Naval facility to support its carrier capability and wider British security needs in the region.

Alongside at Duqm was HMS Monmouth, who has recently completed a five month deployment to the Gulf where as part of an international coalition she was involved in drugs busts worth £400m. The Defence Secretary praised the work of the sailors whose actions removed a key funding stream for terrorists in the region.”

Once completed, the UK Joint Logistics Support Base, a multi-million pound joint venture between British defence company Babcock International and the Oman Drydock Company, will provide the UK a permanent training facility in addition to a key military logistics centre in the Gulf. It will also be connected to other Gulf countries by the Gulf Rail Project.

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Harry Nelson
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Harry Nelson

It’ll be interesting to see the security arrangements for QE if docked in Oman, a very tempting target.

Ron5
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Ron5

I doubt she will dock. Moored offshore is my bet.

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

You cannot get a more pro UK country than Oman, if it couldn’t be docked there then it couldn’t be docked anywhere.

Oman has excellent security and intelligence services.

David Steeper
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Well said.

John Clark
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John Clark

Agreed Mike and Oman is in a superb geo strategic position too.

Good to see positive news of late…

Marc
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Marc

Will probably be refitted there as well with cheap “Asian”labour.

Alex
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Alex

How does Duqm tie in with the new RN base being constructed in Bahrain?

Ian
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Ian

Well done. This is good on many fronts. A lot of good stuff happening if we could only restore some depth.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

“(It) will provide the UK a permanent training facility in addition to a key military logistics centre in the Gulf.” If that means the Gulf of Oman, in the Indian Ocean then yes it will. However if they mean The Gulf that most people understand it to be ( Persian or Arabian depending on what shoreline you are standing on) then no it wont. For those that have managed to avoid Duqm you are not missing much. It is 5 hours by road from Muscat. It is actually a good ten miles past the middle of nowhere. The airport is… Read more »

Nathan
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Nathan

Oman is a pleasant country, been there a few times.

Peaceful, conservative but not oppressively so, beautiful and far more balanced than its various neighbours.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Totally agree…but the dockyard does not reflect the country. Its an industrial project built to repair ships.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Maybe if we had not just quietly scrapped without replacement, RFA Diligence, our forward repair and engineering ship we would not need multi billion pound far flung bases all around the world. Diligence could probably patch up most minor or moderate damage a ship receives to allow it to sail back to Blightey or a more safe/ secure location for definitive repair.
A base near to Yemen does not sound a great idea at this time. Long term might work out???