Operation Kipion , Royal Navy In The Persian Gulf
The Royal Navy has long had a presence in the Persian Gulf in order to stop various activities such as drug trafficking, ensuring the safe passage of vessels through a very tense region of the world. This can come in the way of ensuring the waters are clear of mines, ensuring tankers have safe passage. This was recently demonstrated by HMS Montrose. The Royal Navy operation is called Operation Kipion.
The operation secures the UKs commercial & many political interests in the region. The Royal Navy currently has a total of 6 vessels deployed to the region. HMS Montrose was recently sent to the region to provide escort roles if there is a need for such activities. The ship will be based at HMS Jufair in Bahrain until 2022. 4 mine-hunters are also deployed to the area. These include HMS Blyth, HMS Ledbury, HMS Brocklesby & HMS Shoreham. RFA Cardigan Bay is also deployed the region & typically acts as the mother ship for the minesweepers.
The Ships Deployed
HMS Montrose is a type 23 frigate that can operate in a highly versatile role. The ships are primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare. HMS Montrose is to be stationed in the gulf until 2022 & recently take part in escorting a British flagged tanker through the Persian Gulf. HMS Montrose deployed to the region with a Wildcat helicopter. A selection of the ship's armament includes a 4.5-inch gun, Seagnat to defend against incoming missiles. Type 2170 torpedo defense. Sea Ceptor surface to air missiles.
RFA Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay is a Bay class landing ship that is operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in support of Royal Navy operations. While being deployed in the region the ships main role is to act as a mother ship for the 4 mine-hunters that are also deployed. The ship can do a variety of other roles as the class of ships can be used as a mine-sweeper as this was demonstrated by RFA Mounts Bay while off the east coast of the United States. With a floodable dock at the stern, RFA Cardigan Bay can offload troops either using landing craft or from her large flight deck. The ship can also carry mexeflotes to offload troops and equipment.
The Royal Navy has deployed 4 mine-hunters to the region. 2 Hunt Class vessels HMS Ledbury & HMS Brocklesby. 2 Sandown class vessels, HMS Blyth & HMS Shoreham. These vessels are equipped with various mine-clearance methods such as the Sea Fox clearance system. These vessels when heading out into the Gulf will operate in a pair for the majority of the time. RFA Cardigan Bay is also often nearby to act as the mother ship for these vessels.