The 4,000-tonne frigate Admiral Makarov was monitored by minehunter HMS Hurworth.

According to the Royal Navy in a press release:

“Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Hurworth and a Wildcat HMA2 helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron based at Yeovilton have both been sent out to monitor the movements of the Makarov.

They are the latest Royal Navy assets to be activated over the summer to monitor the activity of Russian surface ships sailing in or close to the UK’s sphere of interest.

Patrol ship HMS Mersey, destroyer HMS Diamond and frigate Montrose have all been dispatched to observe Russian vessels passing the UK in the past two months.”

The 4,000-tonne Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate joined the Russian fleet last year and is the latest in a number of Russian warships to be watched over by the Royal Navy close to UK shores.

Russian frigate Admiral Makarov sails through English Channel
Admiral Makarov is Russia’s newest warship.
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I realise it’s only monitoring but a mine hunter isn’t really that formidable.

Geoff Caruth

Agree 100% HF. Granted it is only monitoring but it is humiliating nevertheless. Like sending a Piper Cub to intercept a Russian Bomber

Barry Larking

Personally, I think it too much respect. That’s what they are angling for.


In the 1980’s RAF Marine RTTL craft (max speed 39kts) operating out of Gibraltar regularly escorted Russian naval vessels.

andy reeves

i bet the ruskies are still laughing!!!

Nigel Collins

Could we send out a lifeboat instead for future escort ops. Newer and most probably faster with all her bots intact!
How embarrassing. Thank you HMG

Nigel Collins

Bolts intact sorry!!!
A basic post editing function on here would help.

andy reeves

an archer would have scared them more!


Why does it need to be? Are we expecting the Ruskies to attack? as far as i’m concerned, escorting Russian ships should be a job for the Rivers.


It’s pretty embarrassing, Hms Hurworth is a minehunter, according to Wikipedia max speed of 17kts…. all the Russian ship (max speed 30kts) had to do was speed up slightly and she was no longer being ‘monitored’….


In what way? They’re not stealing fish, harassing shipping or test firing weapons. Perhaps there was a decision not to waste sending a destroyer. Putting on a strong front would be purely for showmanship and a total waste of resources. Russia loves dicking about, lets give them the attention they deserve….very little!

It does also say a Wildcat was sent.

Daniele Mandelli

Apart from the Spy Satellites, over the airwaves, EM spectrum, the RN EW and SIGINT bods and god knows what else you don’t see. This ship won’t have just turned up and been spotted by a modern day ROC, NATO will have monitored it from the moment it left port or soon after. Sure people would probably think it pretty ridiculous if we sent out a Carrier too. Or if our ports were full of heavily armed frigates waiting for a passing Russian ship. The Hunt was there available and shows the Russians we /NATO are aware. It is all… Read more »


Daniele, I think the principle should be, if one is going to do something, then one should it properly or not at all.
Something that this government has absolutely no idea about.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree Gfor But how is it defined being done properly? The whole point is the “interception” of the vessel surely? If it say infringed UK waters and there was no RN presence then indeed it was not done properly as there was no reaction. But there was. And an aerial response too. Maybe I’m wrong and the RN NATO rule book says a vessel must be intercepted by similar or better ( bigger faster more lethal ) otherwise it’s wrong. On your last paragraph I’m with you all the way. This, the previous shower, the one before that and all… Read more »

andy reeves

our ports full of heavily armed frigates? what are you smoking?

Cam hunter

The mine hunters are a,sonsecondary offshore patrol Boats! And her radar could monitor the Russian ship until well past British waters and relay the info back go HQ.!!


If it’s simply a matter of monitoring and potentially alerting other assets in the (currently) highly unlikely event that the ship being monitored were to do something threatening then wouldn’t it be cheaper and at least as effective to use something like a ScanEagle drone with a suitable sensor/surveillance package? It could make sure that it is in visual range so that the ship knows that it being monitored. I know that we don’t have any ScanEagle at the moment (as far as I’m aware) after the RN evaluation project lost its funding but it’s always seemed to me that… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

All logical Julian. I’d also suggested airship LTA types recently too.

The CAA don’t like these UAV’s in our airspace though.

Watchkeeper could only fly in controlled airspace like part of SPTA and Cardigan Bay range and the Protector coming to the UK recently was a first I believe, so plenty of obstacles to overcome.


Ah. Good point Daniele. Is there a lower ceiling (I suppose that would be a “floor”!) for controlled airspace though, i.e. as long as a drone keeps below x-thousand feet it isn’t in controlled airspace hence doesn’t need the necessary certifications, flight plan etc? For a shadowing/escort mission I would have thought that a drone would want to be quite low over the ship anyway to remind the ship that it is there but I take your point on wider area general maritime surveillance roles.

Daniele Mandelli

Yes I had similar thoughts as I was writing that Julian regards Flight Levels.

I assume this was in the Channel, with one of the worlds busiest if not busiest airspace. But that is all way above the heights we are envisaging.

I think there are exceptions like that for lower levels but I’m no pilot so probably pilots or those with that knowledge could comment if using a small UAV at low level is feasible.

Daniele Mandelli

In the Cold War, did the Soviets transfer ships from the Baltic or Northern Fleets to the Black Sea fleet via the English Channel? I don’t recall reading about it at the time?

David Flandry

During the Cold War the Soviet Navy was about 5 times bigger than the Russian Navy of today. I don’t think they needed to do a lot of transfers. OTH, the Royal Navy was about 3-4 times larger.

Barry Larking

Well done Hurworth.

Daniele Mandelli

Where is Mr Reeves and his beloved Gosport Ferry?

Nigel Collins

lol, It’s protecting the QE in the Atlantic at present. A closely guarded secret until now!

Daniele Mandelli

LOL! ooops

Mr Bell

Bit embarrassing for the Royal Navy. Just shows how desperate our force levels are when no available frigate or destroyer can shadow this warship. 4000 ton action packed, heavily armed, sophisticated warship Vs 800 ton minehunter armed with a 30mm gun. Pretty bad. Although if it is a deliberate ploy to show the world wedo not rate the Russian warships and that is why a mine hunter is shadowing then the MOD should clearly declare this. I do not think this is a deliberate ploy. We just do not have any available real warships. Can the MOD mandarins please select… Read more »


we should intercept Russian Bears with Hawks using the same logic!

Daniele Mandelli

Whatever people think, where is the FRE?

I understand there should be one allocated at all times?

Maybe deployed elsewhere around the UK?


If the Russian Navy was deliberately out to embarrass us they should have sent multiple ships down each coast, travelling at different speeds and bearings. Wonder what our reaction would be then…media blackout I presume 🙂

Perhaps they don’t have enough tugs for that though…

Daniele Mandelli

Would they even have the time to be bothered!?

Is this not just another Russian vessel in transit to the Med or Black Sea?

If we make such a fuss they are probably thinking let them!


My comment was more just for amusement than anything else.

I don’t think the Russians are bothered in the slightest. Although I do know they have been slightly cheeky in the electromagnetic spectrum occasionally.

Ben Hambling

You guys complained when they sent a destroyer saying it was too much and then complained when they sent a opv and now with the minehunter what should they send then god they cannot win with you guys


‘You guys complained’ – bit of a generalisation…

Ben Hambling

Ok well its true though a lot of them did complain.

Cam hunter

He is everyone saying it’s embarrassing! It’s not! It was monitoring the Russian ship not stacking it! The mine countermeasure ships are secondary patroll boats aswell! And her radar could track the Russians well out of British waters along with picking up some info on the ship, and then relay it back to HQ. It done the job perfectly! Good job Hms hurworth