April 13. 2024. 6:48

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UK Royal Navy ship seizes vessel with weapons in Gulf


Royal Navy ship HMS Lancaster seized weapons from a vessel travelling south from Iran while completing a routine security patrol after a US fixed-wing Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform detected a suspected smuggling vessel.

ISR detected the vessel travelling at high speed in international waters in the Gulf of Oman during the hours of darkness, a UK Defence Ministry press release notes.

“This seizure by HMS Lancaster and the permanent presence of the Royal Navy in the Gulf region supports our commitment to uphold international law and tackle activity that threatens peace and security around the world,” said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

A year ago, in early 2022, the Royal Navy seized two vessels containing Iranian advanced conventional weapons. These seizures included missile components used by the Houthis to strike the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Royal Navy is part of NATO and, in 2022, spent nearly 10,000 hours – 60 weeks – on NATO operations.

HMS Lancaster, which seized the smuggling vessel in the gulf, was at the forefront of NATO autonomous exercises off the coast of Portugal throughout October.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com)