Ministry of Defence
MOD update on the UK military presence in the Gulf
The UK has a long-standing maritime presence in the region.
The UK has a long-standing maritime presence in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Since 1980, units of both the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) have maintained a presence in the Gulf 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Operation KIPION, the operational name for UK forces (principally maritime) in the region, is our commitment to promoting peace and stability as well as ensuring the safe flow of trade, and countering narcotics and piracy.
We have approximately 1,200 UK personnel deployed and are committed to de-escalation in the Gulf and maintaining free navigation through the region.
The UK regularly reviews the number of RN and RFA vessels in the region. While there is occasional overlap of ships when one deployment begins and another ends, this is not uncommon. These long-planned movements do not reflect an escalation in the UK posture in the region and are routine Op KIPION deployments.
There are 7 RN and RFA vessels, with embarked Royal Marines for force protection, currently deployed to Op KIPION:
1 x Type 23 Frigate
- HMS MONTROSE. The ship is due to undertake pre-planned maintenance and crew change during which she will be replaced by HMS DUNCAN.
1 x Type 45
- HMS DUNCAN is transiting to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS MONTROSE comes off task.
4 x Mine Counter Measures Vessels
- HMS LEDBURY
- HMS BLYTH
- HMS BROCKLESBY
- HMS SHOREHAM
1 x Landing ships Docking Auxiliary (LSDA) – Mine Counter Measures Support Ship
- RFA Cardigan Bay
Future routine deployments to Op KIPION include:
RFA WAVE KNIGHT
- RFA WAVE KNIGHT will join OP KIPION tasking at the start of August as part of a long planned deployment to Op KIPION in the role of KIPION Ready Tanker.
- With a ship’s company of around 70 RFA personnel, RFA WAVE KNIGHT’s role is to deliver food, fuel, water and other essential supplies to RN and Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ships.
- Later in the year, Type 23 Frigate HMS KENT will deploy to the Gulf taking over from HMS DUNCAN, ensuring an unbroken presence.
The maritime component is commanded by Commodore Dean Bassett out of the United Kingdom Maritime Component Command in Bahrain. Cdre Bassett is also the Deputy Commander of the US-led Combined Maritime Force (see below).
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)
The UK contributes to the 33-nation CMF that conducts Maritime Security Operations, counters terrorism and narcotics smuggling in maritime areas of responsibility; works with regional and other partners to improve overall security and stability; helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities; and, when requested, responds to environmental and humanitarian crises.
UK Maritime Trade Operations (MTO)
UKMTO, a Royal Navy capability, is an information conduit between military and security forces and the wider international maritime trade. UKMTO delivers timely maritime security information, often acting as the primary point of contact for merchant vessels involved in maritime incidents or traveling within an area of high risk.
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
100 employers awarded for supporting the armed forces23/08/2019 10:15:00
The Defence Secretary has congratulated the 100 employers who have been recognised for their support of personnel, veterans and their families.
UK and Iraq agree future defence relationship22/08/2019 15:15:15
The UK has cemented its commitment to continued military support to Iraq, after an agreement was signed in London today.
UK and Norway Reinforce North Atlantic Security15/08/2019 15:10:00
The UK and Norway reinforced their commitment to joint anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic at RAF Lossiemouth today.
Update: air strikes against Daesh13/08/2019 15:10:00
The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Syria.
DIO supports further renovation of RAF Lakenheath09/08/2019 16:10:00
Work is about to begin at RAF Lakenheath to renovate the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) security forces facilities as part of an ongoing programme of improvements to the base.
The Challenge of Regulation in an Age of Advanced Automation09/08/2019 10:10:00
How much can a regulator understand the autonomous safety systems that transcend traditional levels of automation and what level of assurance can be provided?
RAF Typhoons scrambled twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft07/08/2019 12:15:00
Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have intercepted five Russian military aircraft in the last two days; four after launching on Monday and another yesterday.
UK joins international maritime security mission in the Gulf06/08/2019 12:16:00
The United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Gulf.