HMS Kent and HMS Defender deploy on operations

Portsmouth-based warships HMS Kent and HMS Defender today left their homeport to embark on operations to the Gulf and Asia Pacific respectively.

Type 23 frigate HMS Kent will relieve HMS Duncan of her duties in the Gulf and is scheduled to work alongside US partners as part of the newly-formed International Maritime Security Construct. She will be focused on providing regional maritime security, including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling activities.

She will also work alongside HMS Montrose to escort British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz.

Commander Andy Brown, Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, said: “Today’s departure on operations has been achieved through the hard work and support of the ship’s company, their families and the wider defence enterprise.

“Our focus in the Gulf remains firmly one of deescalating the current tensions. But we are committed to upholding freedom of navigation and reassuring international shipping, which this deployment on operations aims to do.”

This is an opportunity for HMS Defender to demonstrate the global reach of the Royal Navy as well as the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia Pacific region.

Commander Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer of HMS Defender

HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, is deploying to the Asia Pacific region.

The deployment aims to strengthen already strong defence ties and demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity of the region. The presence of the ship proves the UK’s global reach with world-wide interests and world-leading defence capability.

HMS Defender will take part in maritime security patrols aimed at protecting vital trade routes as part of a long-standing 30-nation maritime force. The Asia Pacific region is increasingly important to the UK for prosperity with more than one third of UK trade by value travelling from this area.

Commander Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer of HMS Defender said: “This is an opportunity for HMS Defender to demonstrate the global reach of the Royal Navy as well as the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia Pacific region.

“I am very proud of the ship’s company and the many support organisations who have supported us to reach this point today."