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Royal Navy deploys HMS Richmond to Gulf to help safeguard shipping

HMS Richmond deploys to the Red Sea to help safeguard international shipping. (Crown copyright)

The UK Royal Navy (RN) has deployed a third ship to the Gulf to provide resilience to UK naval presence in the region amid ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on merchant shipping.

The Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Richmond (F 239) departed Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, the UK on 6 January and is now en route to the Gulf to support the international effort to protect shipping, the RN confirmed on 9 January.

Richmond will join two other RN frigates operating in the region, the Type 23 general-purpose frigate HMS Lancaster (F 229) and the Type 45 Daring-class destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) . The third unit will enable the UK to maintain a persistent presence and fulfil all its taskings and commitments in the region by relieving for Diamond or Lancaster when either vessel is rotated out for replenishment or maintenance, the RN said.

Diamond was deployed to the Gulf in late November 2023 and since mid-December has been assigned to the US-led multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian, which was inaugurated on 18 December in response to the escalation in Houthi attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea originating from Yemen. Meanwhile, Lancaster has been based in the Middle East since August 2022 and is planned to remain forward deployed in the region for three years. While Lancaster is largely focussed on combatting smuggling and piracy in Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, it has also conducted some tasking with Operation Prosperity Guardian, an RN source told Janes .

While Richmond

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