The Royal Navy is sending two warships to NATO missions in the Mediterranean Sea, UK’s defense secretary Michael Fallon confirmed at the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
Multi-role survey ship HMS Enterprise is already underway and is set to join the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) as the flagship in July this year.
HMS Enterprise will be joined by HMS Pembroke in the second half of 2017.
The second ship the UK is contributing is the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan which is set to lead Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) operating in the Black Sea.
With HMS Duncan at the helm, SNMG2 is set to visit Ukraine among other port visits.
“As part of our leadership within the Alliance, we’re stepping up our NATO commitments,” defense secretary Michael Fallon said. “Whether it’s in the cyber domain, where I’m committing UK support to NATO operations, or on the high seas with HMS Duncan and HMS Enterprise leading half of the Alliance’s maritime forces in the Mediterranean, the Aegean and the Black Sea, Britain is playing its full part.”
Fallon also mentioned the trilateral maritime patrol aircraft agreement signed between Norway, the UK and the US which established a framework for further P-8A cooperation.
“By investing in these aircraft, as part of our £178 billion defence equipment programme, we’re showing that we’re serious in tackling the threats on NATO’s North Atlantic flank,” Fallon said.
“And in stepping up our cooperation with the US and Norway on maritime patrol around our shores, we will help keep Britain safer and more secure.”