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Operation Kipion: Royal Navy assets in the Persian Gulf

Published Monday, July 22, 2019

Amidst rising tensions in the Persian Gulf, and the recent seizure of a British-registered vessel by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp, there is increasing interest in the Royal Navy's assets in the region.

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The UK has maintained a permanent maritime presence in the Persian Gulf since 1980.

Initially the Armilla Patrol, in June 2011 that deployment evolved into Operation Kipion, which represents the Royal Navy’s current maritime security presence in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. With a broader remit, Operation Kipion is a combination of Royal Navy operations in the Middle East patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, and Suez Canal and conducting counter piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.

The aim of the operation is to promote peace and stability in the region, as well as ensuring the safe flow of oil and international trade.

At present there are 7 vessels of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary assigned to the operation:

  • Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose
  • Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is currently en route to the region to take over from HMS Montrose
  • Four minecountermeasures vessels of the Sandown and Hunt-class.
  • RFA Cardigan Bay.

At the start of August, RFA Wave Knight will join the operation as the Ready Tanker; while HMS Kent will deploy later in 2019 to replace HMS Duncan.

The intention to deploy HMS Duncan pre-dates current events in the Persian Gulf.  

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8628

Author: Claire Mills

Topics: Armed forces, Defence policy, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Military operations

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