British frigate HMS St Albans has escorted a Russian warship through the English Channel and Dover Strait.

The Type 23 frigate was activated earlier this week to keep watch on the Russian Neustrashimyy-class frigate Yaroslav Mudry.

As the current Fleet Ready Escort, HMS St Albans is the Royal Navy’s high readiness ship which is charged with protecting the integrity of UK waters, say the Royal Navy.

Commander John Cromie, the Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, said:

“As the Royal Navy’s high readiness unit in UK waters, we are the first responders to any potential incursion into UK waters and are highly trained in this role.

Our activation today in response to the passage of a Russian warship close to the UK resulted in a cordial interaction between professional sailors based on the recognised conventions at sea.

We are always standing ready, as is the rest of the fleet, to defend UK waters and UK sovereignty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

HMS St Albans is equipped with a Merlin helicopter from Culdrose-based 829 Naval Air Squadron.

Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry today.


  1. Russian ships of that design period had a lot of problems integrating their combat suites and weapons into one seamless process. Hence a different radar or sensor for each and every weapons system. Gives them that classic “cluttered” look.


    • It’s what the Frigate was made for, they are the workhorses of our navy, a task that the Type 23 has done over the years with outstanding devotion and ability.

    • I think it’s because they can’t even move out of dock due to their crap engine systems. The six are often cluttered together inactive as ‘training ships’ because of this.

  2. More frequent Channel passages for Russian warships, more frequent probing to the northern air defense zone by Russian long range aircraft, more Russian subs lurking off Faslane exit / entry points, possible Russian activity off or even on Cyprus (large Russian ex pat population), more Russian ships passing Gibraltar, and Gulf bases. More Russian troops in Syria with possible close or closer contact with UK forces than previously. All these are possible passive aggressive Russian military responses to recent UK action.

    Then the cyber activity, not related to this post.

  3. Should we not have 2 fleet ready escorts one for the west and one for the east. (Or north /south if you want)

    Could this not be part of a cycle of readiness before a long deployment where the ship are worked up but are in port more often (at least weekly) but can provide 24/7 coverage between them.

    I also think the only way the RN could sink a Russian warship of this size with one of their escorts is by ramming them, as they are really short in offensive capability, whilst the Russian ships irrelevant of how they look are almost certainly more lethal.

  4. I thought we had tasked the Gosport Ferry to undertake these duties, freeing up HMS Magpie for more important taskings?

    Have a good weekend one and all!

  5. Ron, you could not use a dumb old Cold War heavyweight anti ship missile in the channel, it’s just as likely to miss and blow up a Fishermans cottage in Worthing or a floating hotel that the ship you are aiming at.

    Still that’s why warships still have meduim guns.

  6. Similar profiles at a glance. We need more than one “Fleet Ready Escort” to protect the vast waters and coastline around the UK. On the other hand despite cool relations we are not at War and as said,there remains a bond between Seamen of most Nations that transcends the squabbles of Politicians so the possibility of a punch-up is virtually Zero. So,unless one is overly concerned about yours being bigger(or at least the same size) than mine, then OPV’s are just as good for the job of observing and escorting and should be available in bigger numbers.

  7. It is interesting to compare both ships together as they were designed at roughly the same time and both as ASW Frigates. The big difference is that the Yarolslav Mudry took 19 years to complete after her only sister ship.

  8. Can I just say that the T23 blows the Russian ship out of the water on looks. It look like and E-Type V a Lada Riva!

    I know the T23 is starting to look long in the tooth, especially from the front view, but from the side can I say HMS St. Albans looks fantastic.

    The T23 has served us well – I cannot wait for the T26 and the T31 to start pushing upon the bow wave.

  9. Had to chuckle at the report from mirror group newspapers saying it was a destroyer/battleship/frigate all in the same repor shoddy reporting !! Please excuse any spelling mistakes

    • I know what you mean. I went to Liverpool to see HMS Glasgow on its paying off voyage. As I got there some helpful chap asked me was I looking for the ‘battleship’ – in one of the country’s foremost maritime cities !

      As the late and much missed Prof Holmes said, most people can’t tell the difference between a bombardier and a brigadier.

  10. Say what you like about Russian warships, but are they at risk of losing their anti ship missiles? These are fairly routine transits.

  11. First Type 26 due in service by 2026.
    So much for modern shipbuilding techniques!
    The USS Missouri (1944-1998) took 3 years for completion.
    Notable dates:
    Laid down:6 January 1941
    Launched:29 January 1944

    The USS Iowa took less time:
    Laid down:27 June 1940
    Launched:27 August 1942


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