HMS Argyll joined an American carrier battle group passing through the Strait of Hormuz to assert the right of freedom of the seas. She sailed with a French warship and four US vessels, led by the 100,000-ton carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as a demonstration of Britain’s ‘enduring contribution to Gulf security’.
The Devonport-based warship, half way through a six-month east of Suez deployment, sailed with a French warship and four US warships, led by the 100,000-ton carrier USS Abraham Lincoln
Between one fifth and one third of the world’s oil passes through the strait – just 34 miles wide at the narrowest point – in tankers.
The Lincoln enters the Gulf, replacing the USS John C Stennis, amid tensions in the region – in particular over the Strait.
Argyll has been in the Gulf since the autumn as part of the Royal Navy’s constant presence in the region since the 1980s, upholding the UK’s “enduring contribution to Gulf security,” an MoD spokesman said.
“HMS Argyll and a French vessel joined a US carrier group transiting through the Strait of Hormuz, to underline the unwavering international commitment to maintaining rights of passage under international law.”
Earlier this month Defence Secretary Philip Hammond reiterated the Royal Navy’s long-standing commitment to keep the narrows open – and that any attempt by Iran to close them “would be illegal – and would be unsuccessful”.
Naval Today Staff , January 24, 2012; Image: royalnavy