Denmark Sends a Frigate to the Gulf of Guinea for Counter-Piracy Operations

The frigate Absalon fires a missile at an air target during a naval exercise off Norway. Photo: Henning Jespersen-Skree / Air Force Photo Service.
The frigate Absalon fires a missile at an air target during a naval exercise off Norway. Photo: Danish MOD

In the autumn of 2021, Denmark will send a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, where it will contribute to international efforts against piracy. 

The Danish government takes the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea very seriously, where about 40 percent of all reported pirate attacks worldwide take place. In 2020 alone, at least 140 seafarers were kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Denmark is sending a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea. This is because maritime security is being challenged. Pirates are behind several serious kidnappings in the area. This threatens the safety of Danish and foreign crews. In such a situation, we can and should not just look on. We must stand up for the right to free navigation. The Danish navy has previously shown itself to be strong and significant in the fight against piracy. But if we are to get serious about managing security in the Gulf of Guinea, an international military presence is necessary. From the Danish side, we are working for more countries to assume a responsibility, ”says Minister of Defense Trine Bramsen.

The frigate’s task will be counter-piracy operations and escort civilian shipping in the area. 

The frigate’s task will be counter-piracy operations and escort civilian shipping in the area. The ship will be deployed under the Danish Operational command in international waters and the ship contribution’s tasks will be coordinated with Denmark’s allies and partners in the region. The deployment of the ship is planned for a period of five months starting from November 2021 to March 2022.

The frigate is equipped with a SEAHAWK helicopter and will be able to deploy special operations forces from the frigate’s maritime task force if necessary. Among other things, the task force is trained to carry out rescue operations on hijacked ships.

mh 60r dk iver danish navy - naval post- naval news and information
A Danish MH-60R Seahawk helicopter landing aboard a Iver Huitfeldt class frigate (Image: Lockheed Martin)

“We are taking a strong stand against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea with both diplomatic and military contributions. We have also increased our stabilization efforts in the area, where we cooperate with relevant coastal states. It is about helping to enable countries to take care of security themselves. So we are both fighting pirate attacks and the causes of piracy, ”says Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod.

As the world’s fifth largest maritime nation, Denmark has a special interest in protecting civilian shipping and the right to free navigation. On average, up to 40 Danish-operated ships sail through the Gulf of Guinea on a daily basis, and they transport goods worth almost DKK 10 billion (USD 1.6 billion) a year. 

Before the deployment, the government will present a resolution in the Parliament.

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

Click on the map to see the latest incidents in the Gulf of the Guinea

imb piracy map - naval post- naval news and information
Imb Piracy And Armed Robbery Map (16 March 2021) (Click On The Map To See Live Map)

Regional Countries increased their efforts against piracy in the region.

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the Royal Danish Navy frigates.

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