HMS Mersey escorted Russian warship Mudryy, plus her supporting tanker Yelnya and the seagoing tug Viktor Konetsky on Saturday as the trio entered the UK’s area of interest on Saturday.

The passage was entirely routine and legal.

The Royal Navy say that Mersey was conducting a fishery enforcement patrol, ensuring trawlermen abide by fishing rules in UK waters when she received the task to meet up with the Russians.

The Mudryy is a Neustrashimyy-class frigate believed to be heading from the Baltic to the Indian Ocean to participate in exercises with the Indian Navy.

It is standard practice for Russian warships to be accompanied by support vessels when heading out on prolonged deployments.

“It is a testament to my ship’s company’s professionalism and commitment that such a small team can switch focus to successfully achieve whatever the nation requires of them,” said Mersey’s Commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon.

“I am very proud of the way they responded to this change in Mersey’s tasking. The Royal Navy is used to working alongside our allies to uphold the rules-based international system, both in home waters and around the globe. As ever, I am very grateful to the friends and families of all of us who serve in Mersey for their continued support as we work hard to protect our nations’ interests.”

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Herodotus
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Did the skipper do a Lt Grueber from ‘Allo Allo’…”and if you misbehave, I will shoot you with my little gun”!

Cam
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Cam

Lol

Nick C
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Nick C

I would love to know who writes the crap that CO’s are supposed to have said about their crews. I should think that they were quite please to be moved from lots of sea boat time measuring nets to actually looking at something interesting.
Also I thought it was only the Russians ancient and clunky carrier that needed a tug in the trail, I can understand the oiler, but why the tug for what looks like quite a new ship?

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

Because even the newer ones are a load of shite! ?

Andy P
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Andy P

Nick, the wardroom live in a bubble and the CO’s come out with this kind of guff to impress the people doing THEIR write ups.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

but sadly all we have is yesterday’s potatoes to throw at them

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Has anyone thought of copying the Russian tug concept? Not for risk of a RN ship sinking but as an additional weapons carrier? If it was optimly manned could it also act as a diversionary target controlled by the mother vessel?

andy reeves
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andy reeves

maybe a 76mm gun, torpedo tubes and a couple of harpoons might deter them. i stumbled upon the specs for the new sigma corvette:10 meters longer than a river same beam,5 knots faster than a river 20 more crew, yet has twin treble torpedo launchers, a 76mm gun, two quadruple anti air missile launchers and, 4 harpoon, exocet.to o all this with a platform so close to that of a river opv, is further proof that the R.N is getting the wrong ships, and the ones they get, the less it would seem that they know what to do with… Read more »

Robert blay
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Robert blay

All they are doing is escorting a vessel through international waters, nobody is shooting anything at anyone. We have been doing this for decades without incident. This is day to day routine operations for the RN.

Mark B
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Mark B

Get fifty similar to the fast boats the Iranians have. Put random weapons and sensors on them and get them charging around confusing the hell out of any enemy. I like the idea makes sense in an odd way.

Robert blay
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Robert blay

We have the RFA to support our warships.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

and all we can respond with is a fishery patrol vessel? a national embarrassment.

Chris
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Chris

For probably the hundredth time on this website. There is no need to send out the ‘Home Fleet’ whenever the Russians sail a few ships past. Frankly our frigates and destroyers have better things to do than escort a Russian rust bucket for a few miles through the channel. All we need is a ship to fly the flag and let the Russians know they are being watched – nothing more. The River class is perfect for this.

Andy P
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Andy P

Spot on Chris, but I fear you’re pissing in the wind,

Herodotus
Guest

I think that what most are suggesting is that a 2000 ton warship might be a more flexible unit if it was up-armed. I don’t think that is an unreasonable suggestion. These vessels are twice the tonnage of a WW2 destroyer….reasonably, in modern parlance, they could be considered as heavy corvettes. The Italian Comandante class are smaller than the River class but have a telescopic hanger, capable of taking an NH90, and a 76mm Otto Melara. If you are going to build a ship of that size, why not make it into a really capable vessel. If you want something… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

The real problem with the Rivers is that in war they have no purpose. Now the MCMVs are going to need replacement soon, surely the best way of spending money would have to built multi-purpose light vessels that could do fishery protection, offshore convoy and mine clearance. That way, in peacetime, you have plenty of fishery protection vessels (may need them post Brexit) and in conflict useful platforms which double for other purposes. It obviously makes sense but is way beyond the foresight who decide such things.

Glass Half Full
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Glass Half Full

Who says they couldn’t do such tasks in the future though if necessary? With ISO container based MCM, ASW using Captas 1/2 or similar and perhaps organic UAV ASW operations. I’m curious though regarding off-shore convoy escort needs? Surely in time of war we should be so lucky as to find Russian surface combatants in easy reach of land based air attack from Norway, UK or Iceland. The skies would also be an extremely hostile place for Russian aircraft anywhere close to the UK, leaving subs as the main threat, which Rivers might adequately address as part of a much… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

Whisper it H, but you don’t need to stick weapons all over a platform for it to be effective. The tonnage is misleading, the large size (compared to some of the considerably older vessels given as examples) means that it can stay on station for longer, it can carry more fuel, more scran, better habitability (why treat our matelots like crap if you don’t have to), spare capacity for other personnel like medics, landing/boarding parties or even survivors/refugees. The steel container is relatively cheap compared to what you put in it and if you start adding lots of weapons and… Read more »

Herodotus
Guest

I take your point, but I wasn’t suggesting that it should bristle with armaments. But one credible weapon system like the 76 mm with guided ammunition could play a significant role in many types of conflict. As for needing a 2000ton ship to do fishery protection is nonsense. I have worked doing extensive hydrographic surveys with a survey crew of 5 and a ships company of 12 on a 300 ton vessel for four months at a time. A decent second hand North Sea supply vessel would be more than adequate…with huge fuel tankerage and really good crew accommodation for… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

We’re going round in circles a bit but introducing a new weapons system for an OPV would be quite pricey, not just in the initial purchase but training and the stores support. I’m not ideologically against more weapons, it just comes down to practicality, these are only nominally warships, they have a gun to threaten smugglers or angry fishermen. As for your own experiences at sea, fair enough, I’m guessing your 4 months wasn’t in a ‘oner’ and you were either in and out of harbour and/or getting some kind of RAS. If you want to pull up a bollard… Read more »

Pete
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Pete

Pressumably providing OPV’s with either the 56mm or 40mm bofors plus all the containerised module options provides the desired commonality and the abilty for it to defend itself and undertake tactical tasks in a hot conflict.

Herodotus
Guest

Well I think that you are right in people not changing their mind about the baseline armament for these vessels! As for four months at sea without any form of R&R (maybe a walk up and down the jetty on occasions), I used to do that on a regular basis offshore Saudi in the 70’s and 80’s! I have also worked with the Royal Navy…really liked it, the survey mob used to do 10 days intensive followed by 4 days for transit and port calls. Shear luxury compared to the commercial world! Civvy St is dead tough in comparison. But… Read more »

Andy P
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Andy P

Your and my experiences ‘back in the day’ have little relevance mate (70’s was before my time right enough), society has moved on and therefore the people joining the Forces have changed. There’s no point going all ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ about how bad it was and who had it worse,

If the Navy are building bigger ships with better accommodation then surely that should be applauded rather than a “its not like it was in my day” comparisons.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Spot on, we know why they were built, but (glued bits aside) they have been built to a decent standard, enabling both growth potential and quite flexible in a number of future roles. We have them, may as well use them as best we can and keeping eyes on a load of floating crap chugging by is a role it’s suitable for! Cheers.

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

The cost of the Rivers was a function of keeping a trained workforce at a monopoly supplier which had the leverage to get the financial aid, instead of self funding its business. It was a subsidy to BAES, no more, no less, it just wasn’t broken down into ship cost + subsidy for public consumption. If you believe that the FSS should be built in the UK, even if the cost to MoD is greater, then you should, for consistency, also be OK with the BAES subsidy and thus the price of the Rivers? So there wasn’t the funding for… Read more »

the_marquis
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the_marquis

I agree with you but I think the bigger issue with the subsidy was that if the government had just ordered the frigates when they were supposed to, they’d be no need to order the Batch 2s from BAES. Really the Rivers should have been built by Babcock or Cammil Laird. Hopefully, with the Shipbuilding Strategy, going forward we won’t get into the same mess. BAES can concentrate on high end warships (T26, followed by T45 replacement, and then when thats done, it will hopefully be time for T26 replacement and so on), while Babock and whoever else is left… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Marquis, as you’re no doubt aware, you’ve sort of answered your own question in this valid paragraph. “The key part of the puzzle is the Government, making sure they order on time and don’t try and delay to move the costs to the right for short term political gain. Ultimately that behaviour is what caused a lot of problems in the 1990s and 2000s across a number of projects. However, this is obviously tricky to do, not just because governments are composed of politicians, but also because in fairness to them they have a lot of other issues to deal… Read more »

the_marquis
Guest
the_marquis

Indeed, although I hope that after the big issues with procurement in the late 1990s/2000s, we may have reset the system and going forward we can keep everything on track. Although there’s always that £10bn black hole in the budget to worry about so maybe not!

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

The ‘on my watch’ philosophy isn’t going to change I fear. Politicians aren’t the only ones guilty of it either, we all can be guilty of it.

I’m all for trying to make things better but people have a habit of doing things to suit themselves, even if they justify it with all sorts of noble sentiments. Cynical ???? Moi ????

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

@ The Marquis, I agree on your points wrt Govt delay. Milking the peace dividend, followed by the Great Recession also contributed to prioritising other spending too. Hopefully Govt has learnt from problems and costs associated with gaps and delays to Astute and Frigate programs. Also from failing to anticipate the possibility of realpolitik in the form of Putin’s Russia, not to mention Xi’s China that seems likely to become much more assertive in the World.

Mark B
Guest
Mark B

Chris, if all we want to do is keep an eye on them why not just put up a drone. They are probably just trying to annoy us anyway.

Robert blay
Guest
Robert blay

Comments like that from people like you are the only embarrassment.

the_marquis
Guest
the_marquis

Adding weapons to the Rivers is a waste as they will never be used for regular blue water operations, and ultimately, if you start adding AShMs to the Rivers, you are accepting they might need to fire them against another warship, which will put them in range of the enemy ship’s ASuMs. This means that you’ll therefore also need to add an AAW suite to the Rivers as well, to give them half a chance of living long enough to fire the anti-ship missiles or guided munitions or the 5” gun that people keep wanting to add. So we are… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

the _marquis – If you go down the Typhoon Launched Weapon route you could also consider Marte ER,its already been integrated with the Typhoon,as an interim or UOR purchase it might make some sense.