UK Navy Lead Joint European Force To Defend Undersea Infrastructure

European Task Force To Defend Critical Infrastructure

HMS Somerset. Credit:

NEXT month the UK will deploy seven Royal Navy vessels as part of a European Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) to safeguard critical undersea infrastructure. 

In a remarkable defensive initiative, the UK will launch a naval task force comprising seven Royal Navy vessels and a Royal Air Force aircraft and will join forces with nine other European countries as part of JEF, according to a report from Gov. uk.

On Tuesday, November 28, defence ministers from the ten Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) nations reached a unanimous decision. They agreed to launch a first-of-its-kind operation, deploying a task force comprising two frigates, two offshore patrol vessels, mine countermeasures vessels, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship, and a RAF P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Unprecedented Cooperative Patrols

The task force is scheduled to set sail in early December, joining forces with ships and aircraft from other JEF nations. This collective effort aims to patrol a vast area stretching from the English Channel to the Baltic Sea. This operation underscores the seamless interoperability between JEF nations across maritime and air domains.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated, ‘This historic and unprecedented agreement will see a Royal Navy task force of seven ships, supported by the RAF, join allies from across northern Europe as part of a joint operation to defend our shared critical infrastructure against potential threats.’ He emphasised the commitment to defending mutual interests and upholding the rules-based international order.

Enhanced Vigilance And Intelligence Sharing

This deployment will intensify surveillance around offshore assets and facilitate intelligence sharing among JEF nations. It builds on NATO’s recent Vigilance Activity in the Baltic Sea region. This collaboration represents a significant step in defending offshore critical infrastructure, which has recently seen a surge in threats and attacks.

The JEF, comprising Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, focuses on security in the High North, North Atlantic, and Baltic Sea regions.

Last month, the UK Prime Minister pledged to increase military presence in northern Europe, deploying over 20,000 troops next year to combat emerging threats and protect critical infrastructure.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Jane Fraser Brown

      04 December 2023 • 05:17

      Will be interested to hear more about this project . Thank you

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