HMS Duncan arrives in the Gulf to bolster merchant shipping protection

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan has arrived in the Persian Gulf where it is set to ensure the safe passage of British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz following Iran’s seizing of tanker Stena Impero on July 19.

Royal Navy file photo of HMS Duncan

Last week the government confirmed that the Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait, to provide reassurance to the shipping industry.

Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose has already escorted 35 merchant vessels through the strait and will be succeeded by the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan.

Prior to the redeployment notice, HMS Duncan had been operating in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, supporting NATO maritime groups and the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

HMS Duncan will now work with Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose until she comes off duty in late August for regular maintenance work. Another frigate, HMS Kent, and tanker RFA Wave Knight are scheduled to sail for the Strait of Hormuz in September.

“Freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz is vital not just to the UK, but also our international partners and allies,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.

“While we continue to push for a diplomatic resolution that will make this possible again without military accompaniment, the Royal Navy will continue to provide a safeguard for UK vessels until this is the reality.”

“We have relocated from an intense deployment in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, which included support to the French carrier strike group with live operations in Syria,” Commander Tom Trent, the CO of HMS Duncan, said.

HMS Montrose will remain stationed in the Middle East until 2022 as part of the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the Middle East.