UK warships and NATO allies forced back nine Russian Navy warships during “heigthened levels of activity” close to the UK. They monitored “every movement” of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and three missile-armed patrol boats.”
NATO allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark were involved in tracking the Russians.
In a statement, they said: “The Royal Navy and NATO allies have escorted nine Russian Navy warships during heightened levels of activity in the waters close to the UK.
“Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Mersey and HMS Tyne joined Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster in an operation that saw allied ships monitor every movement of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and the same number of missile-armed patrol boats.”
“Royal Navy warships joined NATO allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark in tracking the Russians through some of the busiest sea lanes in the world.
The Royal Navy has escorted nine Russian warships near UK waters
The Royal Navy and NATO allies forced back nine Russian Navy warships
“Russian ships had dispersed after their Navy Day in St Petersburg last month and sailed out from the Baltic Sea and into the North Sea for large-scale exercises.”
The Royal Navy warships were assigned to thereadiness Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which patrols the waters of northern Europe from the Baltic to the Atlantic.
They worked closely with Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real – the task group’s flagship – and Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy, while there were numerous supporting vessels from German, Norwegian and Danish navies.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Tideforce carried out replenishment of supplies and fuel to keep the ships at sea and able to continue on their operations.
A member of HMS Mersey ship
HMS Westminster joined NRP Corte-Real in the north, monitoring the missile-armed patrol boats, while under the control of HMCS Toronto, HMS Tyne and Mersey shadowed the corvettes and landing ships as they headed south towards the English Channel.
Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, Commander Will Paston, said: “The Royal Navy demonstrated its flexibility in being able to shadow the Russian Navy units.
“While the Russian Navy operated in a safe and professional manner, HMS Westminster combined with NATO-allied units across the North Sea and Baltic Sea to escort them throughout.”
Lt Cdr Edwards-Bannon added: “Shadowing missions such as this are increasingly routine for Mersey and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron.”
“This was the first time in recent years, however, that we have done so while under the operational command of NATO.
“As such we raised the NATO flag here in Mersey with pride as we worked closely with fellow service personnel from many of the alliance’s 30 member countries, both ashore at NATO’s Maritime Command HQ in London and afloat in the other allied warships comprising the Standing NATO Maritime Group One.”
Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton, Commanding Officer of HMS Tyne, added: “I am proud to say Tyne seamlessly integrated into SNMG1 and supported NATO in monitoring Russian activity in the North Sea.
“The speed at which the task group formed and became operationally effective is testament to the strength of NATO and I am pleased to be part of it.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly tests the patience of his rivals by carrying out operations near their waters and airspace
NATO allies from Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark were involved in tracking the Russians
Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly tests the patience of his rivals by carrying out operations near their waters and airspace.
Navy Lookout tweeted: “Shadowing missions such as this are routine but becoming more frequent for RN.
“Russians operated in a safe and professional manner but there are increasing levels of Russian naval activity in the waters close to the UK.”
It comes after Royal Navy were scrambled to intercept Russian vessels in the English Channel last month.
Warships shadowed the progress of a four-strong Russian task group as it sailed up the Channel and into the North Sea.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton, said the move was “designed to ensure our nation’s security”.
He said: “We have quickly transitioned from Maritime Security Operations to internal navigation training and then to shadowing Russian warships – all of which is designed to ensure our nation’s security.
“This pace and level of activity is common for Tyne; during our last patrol the ship intercepted Russian warships soon after completing an exercise with our Irish counterparts.”