Over seven million tonnes of British shipping have been guided safely through the Strait of Hormuz by the Royal Navy since the start of its maritime security mission in the Gulf in July, the Royal Navy reported Monday (September 30th).
HMS Montrose, her sister frigate HMS Kent and the destroyers HMS Duncan and HMS Defender have accompanied British-flagged merchant ships in and out of the Gulf amid tensions with Iran.
The warships, plus their helicopters, have been used to accompany and watch over merchant shipping to ensure they can pass into and out of the Gulf safely, keeping international trade -- especially oil and natural gas -- flowing in the face of threats.
HMS Defender was deployed to the Gulf of Oman in August to carry out patrols in the region alongside HMS Kent and HMS Montrose.
Most recently, HMS Kent has borne the burden of patrols, spending three weeks in the strait, providing safe passage for in excess of 800,000 tonnes of shipping.
HMS Duncan, which returned to Portsmouth at the weekend, made 29 runs through the Strait, watching over 1,287,209 tonnes of merchant shipping.
On July 19th, Iran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, prompting Britain to order its navy to escort UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz.
The tanker, which was held off the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for more than two months, was finally released and reached international waters on September 27th.
Tensions in the Gulf have soared since May due to Iran's escalating campaign of unprofessional interactions that appear to be intended to provoke an international response.