Portsmouth-based HMS Daring protecting popular shipping lane off Yemen coast

Ships being escorted through the Bab al-Mandeb strait L(Phot) Paul Hall
Ships being escorted through the Bab al-Mandeb strait L(Phot) Paul Hall
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HMS Daring is on a dangerous mission off the coast of war-torn Yemen protecting one of the world’s busiest shipping routes from terrorists.

The ship is operating as part of Combined Task Force 150 and will use its Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding teams to conduct counter piracy, counter-terrorism and counter-smuggling operations.

Its main effort is to disrupt terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Al Shabab and deter piracy and other unlawful activities at sea in an area spanning from the Suez Canal, through the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and into the Gulf of Oman.

Commander Philip Dennis, the commanding officer, said: ‘We’re proud to be helping keep ships in the region safe but it only represents a fraction of what the Royal Navy does.’

The Portsmouth-based warship is operating in the piracy-hit Bab al-Mandeb strait, which sees a huge amount of global trade passing through it. The Type 45 Destroyer is protecting merchant vessels and other Royal Navy ships with her combination of surveillance radars and Sea Viper missiles.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said keeping these routes safe is vital.

‘The Royal Navy not only safeguards our freedom, but also our entire way of life,’ she said. ‘Keeping the worlds trade routes open is vital and the contribution the navy makes to that globally cannot be underestimated.

‘We should take great pride in the role our city, and the ships and their companies that call Portsmouth home, play in promoting peace and prosperity across the globe.’

Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth North, agrees. She added: ‘It is extremely important the Royal Navy helps to defend this strait which has a lot of ships that are British or coming to the UK. The crew are incredibly brave working in a conflict zone.’

Jonathan Roberts, from the UK Chamber of Shipping, said the Royal Navy is the best of the best for giving protection.

‘An island nation needs a strong shipping industry and a strong shipping industry needs military support,’ he said.

‘There is no safer pair of hands in the world and the work the Royal Navy does in protecting UK ships, and the goods and people they carry, is deeply appreciated and respected.’

HMS Daring operates with the Royal Navy’s newest type of helicopter, the Wildcat Mk2, which uses its targeting system and surveillance radar to help reduce the threat of waterborne attack.