A Royal Air Force P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft was operating close to a Russian amphibious fleet off the Danish coast earlier today.

Coverage in this article comes directly from UK Defence Journal contributor @Osinttechnical. I seriously recommend you follow him for ongoing updates of the situation as a Russian amphibious fleet deploys, potentially, to the Black Sea amidst tensions with Ukraine.

This appears to be connected to the passage of a Russian amphibious fleet.

American, Swedish and Danish aircraft are also monitoring the Russian fleet.

Their destination is unknown at this stage but it’s possible that they’re heading to the Black Sea.

 

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Geordie
Geordie
2 months ago

Do are p8s have anti ship missiles

Deep32
Deep32
2 months ago
Reply to  Geordie

No mate they don’t, just the Mk 54 torpedo I’m afraid.

Geordie
Geordie
2 months ago
Reply to  Deep32

Then we should buy lrasm then
if only 50 or so

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  Geordie

It’s not just the missiles, you have to buy support and storage

Deep32
Deep32
2 months ago
Reply to  Geordie

Without doubt we are lacking in ASMs, if we did buy some irrespective of the make, there would undoubtedly be a pecking order as to which assets get them first.
In the air world, I would imagine that fast jets would be at the head of the queue – is Typhoon/F35. Not sure the P8 would be a good choice, slow lumbering tgt. I know the US puts harpoons on theirs, but then again they have a few more to spare.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
2 months ago
Reply to  Geordie

The P8 is not cleared to carry the LRASM. The US Navy awarded Boeing a contract in April 2021 to design the software and hardware to allow integration of the LRASM onto the P8 with a completion date of October 2024. Integration of the LRASM onto the P8 is not a priority for the US since it can fire them from destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, B-1s and F-18s. Efforts are ongoing to integrate it on the F-35 but I’m not sure of the status of that.

PRJ
PRJ
2 months ago
Reply to  Geordie

The RAF have zero AsUW capability, not far off the RN’s surface fleet which in a few years time will also have no AsUW capability. So soon after a strategic review, makes you wonder what on earth the MOD have been thinking!

Geordie
Geordie
2 months ago
Reply to  PRJ

What’s that word distributed lethality we need more of that

Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  PRJ

It’s nuts, if Ruskies start a war and moves its fleet down the channel, what can we do to help stop them? other than SSN’s which would be very limited in the North Sea / Channel, would have to totally rely on NATO assets

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Have we missed something on the news?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Russian Amphibs on the move. A “Fleet” I wonder how Russian websites react when NATO conducts amphibious exercises in the Baltic. Like our own LRG recently. Would be fun to read. All we know so far is ships are moving, which NATO would have known the moment they left port. You’d think they are about to land on the Channel coast reading some of the comments. Quite possibly a rotation to Syria. Or of course to the Black Sea. Surprising to many no doubt, they are allowed to sail in the English Channel, just as a T45 can sail off… Read more »

Ulya (Julia)
Ulya (Julia)
2 months ago

“I wonder how Russian websites react when NATO conducts amphibious exercises in the Baltic. Like our own LRG recently. Would be fun to read”
Try Moscow Times, it has English language version, generally anti Putin/government so different perspective to RT.
If I find entertaining article I think you might enjoy I will send link and do translation if time allows

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
2 months ago
Reply to  Ulya (Julia)

That would be great thanks!

Ulya
Ulya
2 months ago
Reply to  Bluemoonday

If you search ‘ministary of defence of the Russian Federation’ it is English language site. Might be interesting start for you

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

I genuinely don’t know what is going through some people’s minds sometimes. Any mention of the Russians/Chinese and you would think WW3 is imminent. And seem to forget about international relations and a great deal of politics has to go very badly wrong before we get close to any of that.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

👍 some v trigger happy folk on UKDJ now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

What do you expect them to do, land at Lulworth Cove? What is it, 3 ships?

Their logistics and supplies will surely run out by the time they reach inland as far as Salisbury….

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago

The Russians have previously trained for an amphibious assault on HMNB Devenport and Plymouth, the objective of which would be to destroy the 4 T45s tied up alongside awaiting repair and the destruction of the dockyard facilities. A quick 24 hour in and out operation, before NATO could react. How many RAF Typhoons are currently airworthy? I would wager less than 50, with the rest in bits awaiting spare parts.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

An amphibious assault on Devonport or Portsmouth HMNB would be completely unnecessary; they’d just hit such targets with stand off missiles. Job done. Apart from possibly Asters on our tiny number of active T45s there’s nothing else to defend ourselves with.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago

A landing at Luworth Cove or the Isle of Purbeck would be within striking distance of Bovington. Anyway most of our Challengers have been dismantled ready for the upgrade.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I was being sarcastic, David…. Yes, it would be within “striking distance” of Bovington. Which has no strategic value whatsoever. And few of our Tanks are there, so the Challenger point is not relevant. Why no send them just up the road to West Moors? Now there is a strategic target! They would also be within striking distance of a few dozen other places I could list. My point is, why would Russia start WW3 doing that? Half the British Army is sat around SPTA. And the RN would fight back, as would the RAF, as would NATO assets. Their… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago

Lets hope the RN rules of engagement are robust enough to react as you suggest. Personaly, I would want to see them interdicted off Margate so they turn back, or better still sunk. I was disappointed that HMS Defender didnt shoot down the 15 Russian jets that bothered her in the Black Sea last year. You have to stand up to bullying from the Russians, or they take the p**s as they are now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

It is a balance in my view. Stand up to a bully, yes. Watch him. Have strong armed forces, we have cut far too much, that is agreed. Standing up to them does not include initiating combat simply because Russian ships sail into the North Sea! “I was disappointed that HMS Defender didnt shoot down the 15 Russian jets” I was relieved, I’d like to live my life, thank you. Shooting down 15 Migs from our T45 that is sailing off their coast would be an escalation akin to them landing on our coast as you describe and we would… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago

I don’t think the Russians want WW3 anymore than we do, they are just trying it on to see how we react. The Turks shot down one of their fighters over Syria a few years back and Putin proved to be a pussycat over it. The last time I looked the Turks were still in NATO!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Barely. So lets test him to see how much of a pussycat he is by shooting down 15 of his jets while off their coast? I think not. “I don’t think the Russians want WW3 anymore than we do, they are just trying it on to see how we react.” Right, so lets not up the ante by shooting down jets for no reason, giving Putin the chance to bite back, which we then do, and so on to the obvious conclusion. I think the RN did exactly the right thing by sailing where they were entitled to be while… Read more »

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
2 months ago

With the state Boris is in, you couldn’t rule out him doing something stupid like this

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Bluemoonday

So you think Boris might start a war to distract us from him have a beer in the garden last summer and save his job? That’s even more far fetched than some of the other comments on this thread. I know January is a crap month, but come on guys. 😆

Meirion x
Meirion x
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Daniele seems to have become much more of a pacifist over the last few years, David!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

😀 That is an improvement over “Traitor” Meirion. So I will take it! But keep trying. There is a big difference between pacifism and basic common sense. I recall you suggesting first strikes to take out Russia’s nuclear arms in their depots and thinking it would be OK? Over Ukraine? Who are not members of NATO? Plunging us all into war? Right…. Then David wants ships sunk near Margate, and Migs shot down? War should be last resort, and defensive, not talking tough on an internet forum when real lives are at stake. Pacifism – “the belief that war and… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago

Well said mate. Common sense prevails.

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

They could always use the gate guards at Lulworth camp just up the road.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

😀

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 months ago

Lol.. Quite right though.

Lulworth Cove… Lovely place. Remember that well.

Tommo
Tommo
2 months ago

Apparently Danielle, the Russians know Salisbury like the back of your Door handle

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

I’m sure they do. Considering their GRU officers were there pretending to be tourists!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

“Throw crumpets at ’em” (see film Sink the Bismark 😀)

Cheers CR

Knight7572
Knight7572
2 months ago

Great should we be worried that we’re going to have a war with Russia

Dj100
Dj100
2 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Probably the move of the troops into Belarus and now this forces Ukraine to put troops where they don’t want them to prevent a flanking attack.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

Yes. All the more so as we have run down our forces so low that Putin & PRC feel no restraint to do what they like.

Tommo
Tommo
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Yes both made Hay when the Sun Shone we on the other hand rolled our trousers up donned our knotted hankie and just sat on our arsies dipping our feet in the water So too Speak Frank

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Knight7572

No

DaveyB
DaveyB
2 months ago

If they’re heading for Iceland, I’m getting the bunker ready

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
2 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Maybe a sneaky go at Ireland?

David Barry
David Barry
2 months ago

Should the Argentines have jerry rigged exocets to a flat bed and given HMS Glamorgan a bad news day, could we not gift Harpoons to the Ukrainians?

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago

If they are in the N Sea they may well be headed for the English Channel and if so will pass close to HMNB Devenport and Plymouth again. Lets hope the Navy has sufficient assets available to keep a very close eye on them

Meirion x
Meirion x
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

It’s a pretty that the UK and France bar them enty to the Channel? They would have to go the long way round the UK.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Then we would be no better than China.

Freedom of Navigation, just like our ships in the SCS and the 45s off Crimea.

Meirion x
Meirion x
2 months ago

Why allow those Russian ships easy passage throughour our waters to commit aggression? We know where they are going!
Most of the SCS and Taiwan Strait is in International waters. Each side of the English Channel is only 11 miles wide in both British and French waters.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion x
Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

This is the job of the P-8. It can loiter for 10+ hours. Three of them can maintain a 24/7 duty station.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

This explains recent news that both Sweden and Denmark have reinforced outlying islands. Possibly the Russian Baltic Fleet amphibious force is on route to the Black Sea to heighten pressure on the Ukraine. Whatever the case the Royal Navy need to treat this threat extremely seriously as it enters our waters. I understand we are sending some anti-tank weapons off to the Ukraine. It would be a good idea to also give them shore based anti-ship missiles to counter this latest threat (only we haven’t got any). Hope the US can do something along this line.

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago

There is a reasonable chance that one or more of them will turn south heading for the Black Sea and probable use on the Syrian Express. This is a regular redeployment of other fleets’ Ropucha to share the use on the Russia/Tartous run. What would be new is the Ivan Gren, a larger ship which has never been to the Black Sea, went south. The three Ropucha look heavily loaded compared to when they transit the Bosporus.

Last edited 2 months ago by JohninMK
Jay
Jay
2 months ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Tartus

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Thank you.I was using the transliterated version from the Arabic. Tartus is indeed the more common version.

Ian
Ian
2 months ago

Hi All
is this a job for our P8’s or should this be being done done something we have decommissioned in the last year , or the not ordered soon enough Wedgetails
thank you Ian

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Bang in the middle of the job spec for the P-8.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian

P-8 100%.

3 of them can monitor an entire fleet (surface and submerged) 24/7 at 2,000 miles distance. It’s a question of how much air crew the RAF have to throw at it.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
2 months ago

Their arrival in the black sea will determine when the invasion of Ukraine will begin.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago

P-8 is good but expensive. Ideally we need more but a dozen C27 would be cheaper and adequate for coastal maritime patrol; 12hr endurance and I think you might even be able fo fit them with AShM.
https://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-for-Acquisitions-CG-9/Programs/Air-Programs/MRS-HC-144-C27J/C-27J-Program-Profile/

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It couldn’t track the submarine movements. The P-8 gets the entire naval battle space picture. Some of the sensors are still classified, but it’s an incredible piece of kit.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Granted it cannot track submarines. So are we really saying that there is no UK need for manned MPA / SAR ?

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
2 months ago

Was anyone else having trouble accessing this site in last night around 9-11pm GMT?

For a minute there I was wondering if UKDJ had the honour of getting hacked at the start of a war.

Bill
Bill
2 months ago

Has anybody been watching the adventures of HMS Northumberland on Channel 5? What an embarrassment! How could the RN and the MOD allow this to be broadcast? Fires, floods, blackouts. Defending our vital undersea cables. Er no, back to base as the russkies took out our -World beating’ sonar array. Farcical. The grub looked good though.

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

More the realities of life aboard any modern warship. Similar issues occured during the 1982 Falklands war task force but we had a far larger fleet to pull replacements from. The whole force was on the verge of having to be withdrawn for maintainance when the Argentines surrendered & the first big winter storm that would’ve shut down further ops hit just hours afterwards. It was a very close run thing in reality. Don’t think for a minute Russian or Chinese ships fare any better. In war no sub would take a towed array out by ramming it; either the… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Frank62
David Lloyd
David Lloyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

HMS Northumberland, a T23 frigate was commissioned in Sept 1994 and cannot be described as “modern”. Its clapped out like most of our other ASW ships. Channel 4 did a similar disastrous expose of HMS Triumph protecting the CAS deterrent that was pulled after it caught fire while on patrol

simon
simon
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

HMS Northumberland went through Lifex in 2011 and has had a refit since

Frank62
Frank62
2 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Our folly is having too few ASW ships(Towed array specialists). 8 is too few when several will be OOS at any time due to refits etc. Also the snails pace at which we replace with new ships. 7 subs is also way too few. Excellent choice for Rusia & PRC to be trying it on when our escort fleet is at an all time low & we’re practically without an AShM. Very much self-inflicted weakness on our part. We don’t protect other nations(or our own), deter aggression or keep the peace in the world by throwing away all the tools… Read more »