The UK’s Royal Navy will cruise into Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia next week as part of the UK’s largest deployment to the region in more than a decade.

HMS Bulwark will lead the TAURUS 09 deployment, targeted to uphold the Royal Navy’s fighting capability and develop the UK’s capacity to operate with key partners and allies from Nato countries and other nations.

The task group of 11 ships and one nuclear-powered submarine sailed from the UK base port of Devonport in February and will return home in August this year.

The operation is designed to prove the UK’s commitment to the stability and security of the Mediterranean, Middle East and South East Asia.

The group has already sailed through the Mediterranean, exercising with regional defence forces in amphibious and anti-submarine warfare before shedding ships to transit the Suez Canal.

After the passage of pirate-infested waters between Yemen and Somalia, HMS Bulwark sailed for India and Bangladesh where a major multi-agency amphibious exercise with the Bangladesh Navy was conducted.

The later visit to Singapore saw HMS Bulwark join the other 18 warships to play a key role in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX).