HMS Daring heading to Persian Gulf to help in Islamic State fight


A Royal Navy destroyer is heading to the Persian Gulf to support the military campaign against Islamic State (IS) terrorists, Michael Fallon has announced.

The Defence Secretary said HMS Daring will sail from Portsmouth on Friday to help protect US aircraft carriers engaged in bombing raids against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

The Type 45 destroyer, which has a crew of 190, will be patrolling some of the world's busiest shipping lanes as part of the deployment.

As well as providing defensive cover to the carrier taskforce, the vessel will provide information to the headquarters controlling air operations against IS, which is also known as Daesh.

Mr Fallon said: "All three armed services are making a vital contribution to defeating Daesh.

"RAF aircraft are hitting the terrorists daily on the ground; the Army is providing counter-explosives training to Iraq troops; the Royal Navy helps protect coalition carriers in the Gulf as they launch strikes.

"With the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second biggest in Nato, our Armed Forces are making a real difference around the world."

HMS Daring will be performing a similar role to that carried out by HMS Defender earlier in the year.

Her deployment follows a series of engine problems which have hit the Type 45 fleet.

The £1 billion destroyers have suffered problems in the Persian Gulf because they were not designed for temperatures in the region.

Innovative gas turbine engines driving the six Type 45s "degraded catastrophically" in very warm seas, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones told the House of Commons Defence Committee in July.

Despite a multi-million pound refit, he said the Royal Navy had accepted it would not be able to operate the ships "all the time in every place on every day of the year".