D. Star: "Royal Navy Warship Intercepts Four Russian Vessels In English Channel"


War Hero
HMS Sutherland along with patrol vessel HMS Mersey and three helicopters monitored the Russian ships as they sailed into the North Sea

Royal Navy warship HMS Sutherland has intercepted four Russian vessels in the English Channel in a major operation as they passed the UK.

The Type-23 Duke-class frigate led the efforts to monitor [the] task group – RFS Marshall Ustinov, a Slava-class cruiser, RFS Admiral Kulakov, a Udaloy-class destroyer and their support vessels Sliva, an ocean-going tug, and tanker Vyazma.

Vladimir Putin's ships were sailing up from the Bay of Biscay having completed a mission in the eastern Mediterranean.

HMS Sutherland was assisted by her Merlin helicopter, River-class patrol vessel HMS Mersey, tanker RFA Tideforce, and a Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron.

Russian forces were continuously monitored and shadowed for five days as they sailed towards the UK and then near British waters in the English Channel.

HMS Sutherland's captain Commander Tom Weaver said: "As the UK’s high-readiness frigate we conduct security patrols in and around our territorial waters and national infrastructure.

"Working with our French and Norwegian allies, these units were monitored on their transit north from the Mediterranean and our interaction with them was wholly professional."

Royal Navy officials boasted they monitored "every movement" of the Russian task force in home waters.

The warship used state-of-the-art radar, surveillance cameras and sensors to track the vessels' speed and course.

HMS Sutherland's weapon engineer Lieutenant Commander George Blakeman said: "HMS Sutherland has a fantastic reputation for versatility – last year we justifiably won the coveted Above Water Warfare trophy, so we’re well trained and more than capable of carrying out this duty.”

“Our ship’s company remain determined to uphold the integrity of our sea lanes and will maintain a vigilant watch.

"It’s vitally important the Royal Navy continues to demonstrate its presence and commitment to the integrity of our territorial waters and this tasking is a clear example of that.”

The frigate, based in Plymouth, is the vessel currently on-call in case of any incidents in waters around Britain.

Royal Navy ships regularly shadow Russian vessels as a matter of routine as they pass through the English Channel.

Russian vessels sail through without incident as they travel to-and-from their bases near the Arctic Circle.

Tensions remain uneasy between Britain and Russia – with the two powers regularly trading barbs on the world stage.



War Hero
Super Moderator
Have you noticed that Russian task groups always consist of an ocean going tug, says a lot about the confidence they have in their ships, and what happens if the tug breaks down ;)