Photos: Royal Navy Tracks Nine Russian Vessels Near UK Waters

Sailor aboard HMS Northumberland keeps an eye on the destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov (Royal Navy)

Published Dec 6, 2020 8:40 PM by Royal Navy News

Over the past two weeks, the Royal Navy has tracked nine Russian vessels around the UK. A Russian surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette, patrol ship and their supporting tugs and supply ships were watched closely by eight Royal Navy ships, from the English Channel and the Celtic Sea to waters close to the west coast of Scotland.

“This is why the Royal Navy is at sea every day, protecting the UK and our interests. Even with the pressures of Covid, we remain at short notice to respond to threats both in home waters and around the world. Despite the increase in Russian activity, both on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond," said First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin. 

Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland watched the movements of the Udaloy-class destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov as she sailed northwest of the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.

Patrol ship HMS Severn was on duty in the English Channel and Dover Strait, where she shadowed a surfaced Kilo-class submarine, the Stary Oskol, the corvette Boikiy, patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and support ships. Severn was also on patrol as the Vice-Admiral Kulakov sailed through the Channel.

HMS Lancaster shadows the Russian corvette Boikiy (RN) 

HMS Northumberland follows Vice-Admiral Kulakov (RN)

Vice-Admiral Kulakov from the bridge of Northumberland (RN)

Kulakov takes on fuel oil from a tanker in underway replenishment (RN)

For some of the operation, the Russian ships sheltered from bad weather within the Baie de Seine, a bay in northern France, where Severn was joined by allied French Navy ships and aircraft. HMS Lancaster joined Severn in this operation, closely tracking Steregushchiy-class corvette Boikiy in the Channel and using her Wildcat helicopter to gather intelligence.

“In very challenging conditions with rough weather, Severn and several other British and allied ships, have spent 20 days ensuring that Russian transiting warships remain under our watchful eyes," said Commander Philip Harper, commanding officer of HMS Severn. 

Meanwhile, three Royal Navy warships – HMS Tyne, HMS Richmond and HMS Kent – combined to escort the same group of Russian ships as they operated in the Celtic Sea and approaches to the southwest coast of the UK.

This task group was joined by RAF Typhoon and F-35s jets, plus tankers RFA Tideforce and RFA Tiderace, which kept the allied ships replenished throughout the operations and contributed to monitoring duties while in the Irish Sea.

This article appears courtesy of Royal Navy News and may be found in its original form here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.