HMS Defender Reaches Gulf of Aden

Royal Navy’s HMS Defender started patrolling the Middle East after assuming her sister ship HMS Duncan’s role.

The Type 45 destroyer officially assumed the role of Kipion operational destroyer and will spend nine months working with allies in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf.

HMS Defender deployed with a Lynx Mark 8 helicopter and a team from the Fleet Air Arm, as well as Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding party and will conduct maritime security operations throughout the region.

In addition to working with both the U.S. and French Carrier Strike Groups on operations that include counter-piracy and counter-narcotics smuggling, she will operate as part of the Combined Maritime Force’s 30-nation maritime force.

The ship is capable of controlling the airspace across an area of 150,000 square miles whilst being able to defend a task group of ships against attack from the air, either by aircraft or missiles.

HMS Defender has also had the opportunity to sail through the recently expanded Suez Canal. The $8 billion investment has shortened the sail through the Canal from 18 to 11 hours.

Operation Kipion is part of Royal Navy’s continued maritime presence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean regions. The commitment usually consists of an escort (a guided-missile destroyer or frigate), a supporting Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and several other ships with various roles.

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Image: Royal Navy