HMS Defender conducted a rendezvous with RMS Queen Mary II in the northern Gulf of Oman during ongoing Maritime Security Operations being undertaken as part of the International Maritime Countermeasures Exercise 2016. As part of this exercise Defender acted as an escort for Queen Mary II, simulating the protection warships can provide through potentially dangerous sea lanes.
The previous day, Defender met Queen Mary II’s sister ship, RMS Queen Elizabeth, and conducted a ‘High Value Unit’ escort, undertaking manoeuvres to demonstrate her capability to protect the escorted ship. Defender also utilised her Lynx Mk 8 helicopter to provide surveillance and early warning of potential threats.
Cdr Steve Higham Royal Navy, CO of Defender, said: “This serial was an excellent opportunity to reassure high-profile merchant shipping in the Gulf of Oman and beyond, while at the same time promoting Royal Naval engagement in the region. Interaction with merchant shipping is crucial to promoting Maritime Security and maintaining the Rule of Law.”