Frigate HMS Kent will head to the troubled region to beef up the Royal Navy’s presence, the Ministry of Defence has said. Frigate HMS Montrose which is permanently stationed in the Gulf is due to go to a Royal Navy base soon where it will remain for up to four weeks in order to refuel and restock. To avoid a gap in the UK’s deployment, destroyer HMS Duncan is en route to the Gulf, expected to arrive next week.
In mid-September, HMS Kent will join the two other warships protecting busy shipping lanes in the Gulf.
The MoD said it was part of a the long-standing Operation Kipion.
But Tehran is likely to view things differently, and may see it as an “escalation” according to Sky News’ defence and security correspondent Alistair Bunkall.
The UK’s growing fleet is gathering in the Gulf as tensions between Tehran and Washington worsen.
Iran is furious about Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal and slap on sanctions, which have cripled the Islamic republic’s economy.
This week HMS Duncan was put on high alert after an Iranian “bomb boat” was spotted in its path.
The remote-controlled Blowfish was located by Saudi forces in the Red Sea, close to where the heavily-armed warship was sailing.