Military Capabilities

UK re-establishes RN shipping escorts as Gulf crisis escalates

06 January 2020

Key Points

  • The UK Royal Navy's two surface ships operating in the Gulf will re-commence commercial shipping escort duties in the Strait of Hormuz
  • Operating under UK national tasking, the ships will escort UK-flagged ships

The UK has announced it is re-establishing the escort of UK 'red ensign' commercial shipping by Royal Navy (RN) destroyers and frigates through the Strait of Hormuz as US-Iran tensions in the Gulf region escalate again.

Ordering the RN to recommence escort duties of UK commercial shipping, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said, "I have instructed preparations for HMS Montrose and HMS Defende r to return to accompanying duties of red ensign shipping in the Strait of Hormuz." The defence secretary added that "the government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time".

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