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  1. ITV Report

Portsmouth's HMS Defender deployed to Middle East

HMS Defender with one of her seaboats in the water Photo: Royal Navy

The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, has been deployed to the Middle East to assist with Royal Navy efforts to ensure safe passage for merchant shipping in the area.

Earlier this month the British Government confirmed that it had asked the Royal Navy to escort ships with British flags through the Strait of Hormuz, as part of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC). The Strait is a waterway between Iran and Oman.

HMS Defender has been deployed to the area to make sure that the UK has the flexibility to commit a ship to the international mission on an ongoing basis. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, is currently in the Gulf and has carried out more than 30 crossings of the Strait of Hormuz.

“Wherever the red ensign flies around the world, the UK stands by to protect freedom of navigation whenever is it tested.

“The men and women of HMS Defender will contribute to the IMSC alongside international partners.”

– Ben Wallace MP, Defence Secretary
HMS Defender's crew will work with international partners

HMS Defender and HMS Kent both sailed from Portsmouth on 12th August. Both ships will work with international partners as part of the newly-formed International Maritime Security Construct.

“We always stand ready to take on new missions at short notice, wherever in the world they may be. My ship’s company will work on this new mission with their usual professionalism and dedication, supported by our families back home.

“Ensuring freedom of navigation in the Middle East is vital to the prosperity of the UK and our allies. I’m pleased HMS Defender will play her part alongside other Royal Navy warships in keeping these essential trade routes secure.”

– Commander Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer, HMS Defender