Destroyers from the Royal and the US Navy will be meeting in the Black Sea after completing their Bosphorus Strait transits.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Laboon is already making the transit, wile Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender will enter the region after a stop in Istanbul.
It should be noted that both USS Laboon and HMS Defender are operating as part of their respective carrier strike groups. USS Laboon is deployed with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG, with the carrier currently in the Arabian Sea, while HMS Defender is part of the UK’s CSG, which is currently in the Mediterranean Sea.
The aircraft carriers are not allowed to enter the Black Sea under the Montreux Convention, which limits the total tonnage of warships a country with no Black Sea shores can have in the region to 15,000 tons.
The convention also limits the duration of the two ships’ stays in the Black Sea to a maximum of 21 days.
Over the past few weeks Portsmouth-based Defender completed intensive training and worked on operation Sea Guardian, NATO’s mission in the Mediterranean to deter and counter terrorism.
Defender is now in Istanbul with Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen – which is also part of the UK CSG – and will be hosting representatives from the Turkish government, business world, armed forces and defense sector during her stay there.
USS Laboon is transiting into the Black Sea after completing a port visit to Souda Bay, Greece, where it loaded stores and conducted maintenance and preservation.