The UK Royal Navy’s (RN) Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster has departed from Portsmouth to commence a three-year-long security mission in the Gulf.

HMS Lancaster will be the RN’s second ship to operate out of Bahrain.

As part of this deployment, the warship will provide security and prevent activities that will impact the security of the Middle East and Europe. It will work in collaboration with allied nations and regional partners.

Commanding officer commander Tom Johnson said: “I am immensely proud of everything my ship’s company have achieved to prepare for this deployment.”

Before starting the mission, Lancaster will carry out several exercises in Mediterranean and European waters, alongside Nato’s two task forces, namely Standing Group 1 and 2.

Standing Group 1’s frigates and destroyers are deployed in northern European waters while Standing Group 2 conducts missions from Pillars of Hercules to the Red Sea.

During this period, HMS Lancaster will be involved in Nato’s tech trials/exercises, including REPMUS and Dynamic Messenger.

More than 40 crewless systems are expected to undergo evaluation during the REPMUS, scheduled to be held off the coast of Portugal in September.

Both the exercises will evaluate the capability of uncrewed systems to operate safely and effectively with other Nato assets.

The Duke-class frigate will then pass through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Oman to take its position in Gulf alongside other RN and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships.

After reaching Bahrain, the ship’s crew of 200 personnel will exchange places like-for-like with another crew in the UK.

The ship’s maintenance will be performed in the Gulf.