British Royal Navy’s HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, is heading to the Persian Gulf amid threats by the Iranian military to stop foreign warships from entering the gulf.
HMS Daring is Britain’s newest warship that has a “stealth” design to help avoid detection by radar, the first of new destroyers replacing 1970’s Type 42 ships. The Type 45s are armed with high-tech Sea Viper anti-air missiles. They also have a large flight deck that can accommodate Chinook-type helicopters.
The deployment of HMS Daring to the Persian Gulf had been planned well in advance of the Iranian threat and it is considered entirely routine. Iran has also threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if new sanctions disrupt its ability to export its oil. Daring will join other British warships already in the region.
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said in Washington earlier this week that both Britain and the US would ensure that their response to any provocation was “very measured, that there isn't an accidental escalation."
"What we cannot answer for is whether there is a plan on the other side to escalate," the secretary added.
Source: AFP, 7 January.