UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced the deployment of ships HMS Trent and HMS Diamond to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The deployment is part of the country’s contribution to bolstering NATO’s defences on land, sea, and air and comes in response to the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

A Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), HMS Trent has already started carrying out monitoring activity alongside vessels from NATO Allies, such as Canada, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

It will also participate in exercises to maintain its readiness levels.

This is the first time in the year that the OPV joined the Nato’s second of two permanent naval forces, Maritime Group 2, which conducts activities throughout the Mediterranean region.

Italian flagship ITS Margottini, Spanish Blas de Lezo and Turkish TCG Goksu are also part of the Group 2.

HMS Trent commanding officer commander Tom Knott said: “Trent’s ship’s company are delighted to join Nato’s Standing Maritime Group Two in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Maritime forces are a highly-responsive first line of defence, and as a permanently forward-deployed ship we take pride in our ability to deploy quickly and reach remote locations.

“Through this standing task, we secure freedom of the seas and demonstrate freedom of navigation over 2,000 miles away from the United Kingdom. Sailing as part of the Nato task group is a clear demonstration of our resilience and strength as an alliance.”

Meanwhile, the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyer HMS Diamond will soon sail for the Eastern Mediterranean.