PortandTerminal.com, July 11, 2019
A Royal Navy frigate trained its guns on three Iranian boats seeking to force a British oil tanker off its route through the Strait of Hormuz yesterday
STRAIT OF HORMUZ – A British warship forced three Iranian boats to back off after they sought to block a British tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday, in the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West.
“Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz,”British Navy spokesperson
Last week the tanker the ‘British Heritage‘ had been sailing toward Iraq’s Basrah oil terminal when it made an abrupt U-turn over the weekend. Concerned that the boat would be seized by Iranian forces if it tried to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, the 1 million bbl tanker sought refuge off of the coast of Saudi Arabia.
The Iranian boats sprang into action last night local time when the British Heritage tried to pass through the Strait of Hormuz forcing the Royal Navy battleship shadowing the oil tanker as protection to intervene.
“The Royal Navy HMS Montrose pointed its guns at the Iranian boats and warned them over radio, at which point they dispersed,” one of the officials with the knowledge of the incident said.
Smart move on the part of the Iranians.
The HMS Montrose
The HMS Montrose is a Type 23 or Duke class of frigates, of the British Royal Navy. Fully loaded the vessel weighs 4,200 tn, has a crew of 180 and a top speed of 28 knots.
When first conceived in the late 1970s, the Type 23 was intended to be a light anti-submarine frigate to counter Soviet nuclear submarines operating in the North Atlantic. Since being put into service the Type 23 warships have undergone extensive upgrades to their weapons systems.
The warship is armed with anti-air, anti-ship and anti-sub missile systems. It is also armed with multiple guns including one AE Systems 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun.
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