War on the Rocks – Why is the Royal Navy sending two of its smallest warships to the world’s largest ocean? The First Sea Lord’s announcement of the Royal Navy’s intention to forward deploy two offshore patrol vessels to the Indo-Pacific has been met with skepticism. Given the region’s sheer size and the growing menace of China within the South China Sea, some argue that a frigate is a better platform for this role. But using a frigate, the work horse of the fleet, for all overseas tasking is akin to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Each new maritime task needs to be judged on its own merits considering its objectives and operating environment.