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Montevideo, February 23rd 2024 - 17:06 UTC

 

 

Britain fully confident in Falklands' security and capability of the three services

Tuesday, February 6th 2024 - 10:58 UTC
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HMS Forth responsible for patrolling Falklands waters and South Georgia HMS Forth responsible for patrolling Falklands waters and South Georgia

Britain remains fully confident in the security of the Falkland Islands and in the capability to defend them underlined a release from the Ministry of Defense, in response to a report in the London media claiming it only relies in a small Royal Navy patrol vessel and four RAF Typhoons to protect the South Atlantic archipelago.

The report in the Daily Telegraph said the Islands had previously been patrolled by a frigate or destroyer, but this had since been “downgraded” as the last time a major warship had been deployed was Type 23 frigate HMS Portland in 2017.

The report points out that naval protection is only provided solely by the offshore patrol vessel HMS Forth – which has one 30mm cannon, and highlights that of the four Typhoon fighter jets at Mount Pleasant Complex, one is not operational.

The paper suggests this has led to calls to review the security of the Falklands, and the potential of a repeat of 1982, particularly since Argentina announced plans to boost its armed forces, including some US made F16s, second hand from Denmark, and its supply authorized with the blessing from the president Biden administration.

A MOD spokeswoman was quoted saying, “We remain fully confident in the security of the Falkland Islands and the capability we have in place to defend them, including British Army soldiers stationed at Mount Pleasant, as well as the presence of RAF Typhoon jets and the Royal Navy's patrol vessel.”

In response to a written Parliamentary question last month, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said: “The Ministry of Defense undertakes regular assessments of the requirements for Defense support to the Falkland Islands.

”I am satisfied that the military presence in the South Atlantic is at the appropriate level to ensure the defense of the Islands.“

In December, HMS Forth, the first of the Royal Navy's offshore patrol vessels, paid a visit to the remote island of South Georgia, meeting some of its permanent residents - penguins and seals.

South Georgia is a British Overseas Territory 800 miles east of the Falkland Islands, and part of HMS Forth's mission is to regularly patrol the waters.

Last month, HMS Forth's crew also worked with scientists in South Georgia to help understand the global impact of bird flu.

”The vessel continues to offer reassurance and protection in and around the Falkland Islands and assists the Government in protecting the sovereignty of their waters”

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