The Royal Navy is maintaining the deployment of 12 ships and submarines on front-line operations from the mountains of South Georgia to south-east Asia throughout the unprecedented coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic

The deployment of the vessels is aimed at keeping the UK safe and the sea lanes open for free trade flow.

As part of the military’s response to Covid-19, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Reservists are being put on standby.

In hospitals across the country, including Derriford in Plymouth and Queen Alexandra in Portsmouth, Royal Navy surgeons, GPs, nurses and medical specialists are working to treat patients with the virus.

Royal Navy head Tony Radakin said: “The Royal Navy’s responsibility is to protect and defend the UK and its interests.

“In times of crisis, we are ready to support and assist the government wherever needed. But our duties remain unchanged, and we continue to deliver on operations around the world.”

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The Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary are continuing to perform their regular duties during the pandemic.

Destroyer HMS Defender, which is currently patrolling the Gulf and Indian Ocean, will be replaced by Frigate HMS Argyll.

New patrol ships HMS Forth and Medway will continue their missions for a longer period and will support the international fight against drug trafficking, remaining ready to provide humanitarian aid wherever it is needed.

Minehunter HMS Grimsby and frigate HMS Sutherland are supporting Nato’s work on patrol in the waters of northern Europe.

Survey ships HMS Scott and Enterprise are deployed to the Atlantic and Far East to obtain data about the world’s oceans.

Frigates HMS Richmond and Lancaster are carrying out post-refit trials and training in home waters.