UK sends HMS Defender warship to tense Middle East

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UK sends HMS Defender warship to tense Middle East

A crew member raises the Iranian flag on Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, as it sits anchored after the Supreme Court of the British territory lifted its detention order, in the Strait of Gibraltar. (photo credit: JON NAZCA/ REUTERS)

 The UK’s Ministry of Defense announced that the HMS Defender would be deployed to the Gulf of Oman to join two other British warships. It will join the Royal Navy’s efforts to support the safe passage of shipping in the Middle East, the Royal Navy said Saturday.

The UK has joined the US and others to protect shipping after tensions with Iran rose and a British ship was seized by Iran in July. The Defender will join the International Maritime Security Construct to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Wherever the red ensign flies around the world, the UK stands by to protect freedom of navigation whenever is it tested.

It will join the HMS Montrose and HMS Kent. The Monstrose has already been involved in warning Iranian IRGC fast boats from approaching UK-flagged ships. The Defender is one of the navy’s most modern ships, launched in 2009 and recently re-fitted. It has anti-air and anti-ship missiles and can carry two helicopters.

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