Three British ships and two helicopters were involved in shadowing four Russian vessels as they made their way up the English Channel and into the North Sea.
The Royal Navy say that Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland led the Royal Navy effort to monitor the force – RFS Marshall Ustinov, a Slava-class cruiser, RFS Admiral Kulakov a Udaloy-class destroyer and their support vessels Sliva and ocean-going tug and tanker Vyazma.
The Royal Navy say that the group sailed up from the Bay of Biscay having completed a deployment to the eastern Mediterranean.
“As well as Sutherland and her Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron at Culdrose in Cornwall, patrol vessel HMS Mersey, tanker RFA Tideforce, and a Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron at Yeovilton ensured the Russian force was continuously observed as it sailed through UK waters.
Royal Navy sailors and aircrew monitored every movement of the task group using state-of-the-art radar, surveillance cameras and sensors, allowing them to track their course and speed as they passed the British Isles.”
“As the UK’s high-readiness frigate we conduct security patrols in and around our territorial waters and national infrastructure,” said Commander Tom Weaver, Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland, in a news release.
“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.”