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Royal Navy's strategic deployment

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 30/11/2023 GOV.UK

The Royal Navy strengthens its presence in Gulf in the hopes of protecting offshore infrastructure.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps highlighted concerns about the activities of Russian surveillance ships near crucial national infrastructure, specifically referencing past instances near wind farms and undersea cables. While not citing a specific threat, this strategic deployment aims to safeguard vital offshore assets and infrastructure against any possible risks.

Amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, the United Kingdom is reinforcing its naval presence by deploying HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer, to join the frigate HMS Lancaster in the Gulf region. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the critical nature of bolstering the UK's presence in this volatile environment.

A UK-led task force is set to initiate patrols spanning from the English Channel to the Baltic Sea. This initiative aims to safeguard Europe's vital undersea cables, including those supporting offshore wind farms, from potential threats.

The Ministry of Defence underscores the importance of this deployment in ensuring uninterrupted navigation, offering reassurance to merchant vessels, and facilitating secure trade flow. With an average of 50 large merchant ships traversing the Bab-el-Mandeb strait daily and double that number passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the protection of these critical undersea assets is paramount.

Additionally, in a proactive measure closer to home, a coalition of seven ships, in collaboration with allies from the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, will undertake patrols from the English Channel to the Baltic Sea. This joint operation marks a historic moment, showcasing solidarity among Northern European nations in defending shared critical infrastructure against potential threats.

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