The Royal Navy has announced the HMS Duncan, a Type 45 destroyer, will join HMS Montrose which is due to go in for pre-planned maintenance while still deployed.
A Government spokesperson said: As part of our long-standing presence in the Gulf, HMS Duncan is deploying to the region to ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew change over.
Along with Montrose, the Navy has four mine countermeasures vessels and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay logistics ship in the region.
Earlier on Friday, British media widely reported that the country was sending another warship to the Gulf. But with tension with Iran escalating, an increased military presence in the region can be foreseen.
This will ensure that the UK alongside international partners can continue to support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting through this vital shipping lane,” the UK's spokesperson added.
Also on Friday, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledged to add more warships to the Royal Navy's fleet if he becomes prime minister and vowed to increase the UK's defence spending from 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 2.5 percent and add more jets.
When you look at this week's events it shows that over recent decades we have run down the Navy too much, Hunt wrote in the Daily Telegraph on Friday.
The United States, who earlier this year deployed a carrier strike group and extra personnel to the region, has called for an international military coalition to help protect the Gulf's waters. Still, British government stressed HMS Duncan's deployment is not in response to a request from the US or as part of a coalition force.
Earlier this week, the British Ministry of Defence said Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose saw off three Iranian boats which tried to stop a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran denied the incident happened. (Read also https://en.mercopress.com/2019/07/11/royal-navy-takes-dissuasive-action-to-let-british-oil-taker-through-iranian-waters)
A Downing Street spokeswoman said they are concerned about threats Iran are making to disrupt shipping in the area.
We have been urging them to de-escalate the situation in the region, the spokesperson told a Westminster briefing.
On July 4, British authorities intercepted the Iranian Grace I oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar as it was believed to be delivering oil to Syria, in breach of EU sanctions.
Iran denied this was the case and warned Britain was playing a dangerous game.
Gibraltar's chief minister said the vessel contained 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil and local police arrested on Thursday the captain and chief officer of the supertanker.
US relations with Iran have also worsened since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of a nuclear deal with Iran and reinstalled sanctions.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday warned Britain of the consequences following the seizure of Grace I. I remind Britons: you are the ones initiating insecurity, and you will come to realise its consequences in the future, Rouhani was quoted as saying.