The UK Royal Navy has deployed a Type 23 frigate to the Arabian Gulf to tackle piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling in the region.

During the six-month deployment, HMS St Albans will also sail to the Middle East and into Iraqi waters to help the government protect its oil platforms and provide security to ensure regional stability.

HMS St Albans commanding officer Commander Adrian Pierce said the seas east of the Suez Canal are being increasingly used for unlawful purposes, including piracy, illegal trafficking and smuggling in support of terrorist organisations.

“HMS St Albans will be deployed to these areas to support the wider international community intent on defeating these international threats,” he said.

The 133m-long and 16m-wide Portsmouth-based warship has a displacement capacity of 4,900t. It can accommodate a crew of 180 with an operational range of 7,800nm and a cruising speed of 28kt.