A destroyer is coming: The British are entering the war?
Threats also come from groups that support Iran in the midst of Israel's war against Hamas.
The deployment of HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer, comes after Houthi rebels in Yemen hijacked an Israel-linked cargo ship in the Red Sea last week and the US military had to rescue another vessel on Sunday, Sky News reported.
Grant Shapps, the Defense Secretary, said they were stepping up the Royal Navy's maritime security operation in the Gulf to reduce the risk of the current crisis between Israel and Hamas escalating into a regional conflict.
"This is a response to what is happening in the region. It is crucial that the UK strengthens its presence in the region, in order to protect Britain and our interests from an increasingly unstable world."
The dispatch of the destroyers is Britain's biggest publicly announced military move since Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7 sparked the war.
However, the most significant move came from the US, which sent two large aircraft carrier strike groups to the region and unusually marked the presence of a submarine. Britain's HMS Diamond will join a long-running mission, dubbed Operation Scipio, operating out of Bahrain and working with allied navies to provide additional maritime security to commercial shipping in the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
Equipped with a Wildcat helicopter, the Royal Navy destroyer will join HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 frigate, as well as three smaller minesweepers and a Royal Fleet support vessel, the Ministry of Defense said. Concerns about the security of vital commercial shipping routes in the region were heightened last week when Houthi militants seized the cargo ship Galaxy Leader.