The UK Royal Navy has deployed its Type 45 Daring-class anti-air warfare destroyer, HMS Defender, to join the US Navy carrier task group in the Gulf and support the international coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS).
As part of the deployment, Defender’s air defence radar and Sea Viper missile system will protect USS George H W Bush, the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, and its escort vessels while they patrol the Gulf and launch air strikes against IS.
The vessel will also generate a precision air surveillance representation over the Gulf, in a bid to protect the US aircraft carrier from potential air attack.
Royal Navy HMS Defender commanding officer commander Phil Nash said: "As an air defence destroyer, HMS Defender was built for exactly the sort of tasking that we are conducting in support of the USS George H W Bush.
"Since we arrived in the Gulf in June, we have been engaged in exercises with navies from around the world to test our air defence capabilities and I am delighted that my ship’s company now have an opportunity to put into practice the training they have received over the past few months.
"This will be our primary role in the future, so to be able to provide the same defensive shield to a US Navy aircraft carrier that we will deliver as part of a British carrier strike group is an excellent chance to prove the value we can add in a national and international environment."
Defender is joined by the US Navy’s Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers, USS Truxton and USS Roosevelt, and the Ticonderoga-class destroyer USS Philippine Sea.
Image: The US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS George H W Bush. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.