The Royal Navy sent a frigate to intercept two Russian warships as they approached the English Channel.
Leading Seaman Jack Shanley, 23, who was inside HMS Monstrose’s operations room at the time of the incident said:
“I’ve been in the Royal Navy for four and a half years and this type of operation is exactly what I joined for.”
Montrose recently underwent a major £38m refit which included the fitting of a new ‘state-of-the-art’ air defence system, Sea Ceptor.
The Russian Frigates, RS Stoiky and Boiky were escorted by HMS Montrose and also the Ship’s embarked helicopter, a Royal Navy Wildcat HMA Mk2 from RNAS Yeovilton.
For this mission, the frigate is also equipped with a new Fleet Air Arm Wildcat helicopter from 825 Naval Air Squadron, based at Yeovilton in Somerset. It was sent aloft to record images of the Stoikiy and Boikiy.
“Royal Navy warships are always prepared to respond to tasking at short notice, so when the call came, Montrose was ready for action,” said Commander Conor O’Neill, Montrose’s Commanding Officer.
“The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, with the support of our NATO allies, constantly monitor the seas and skies around the UK, and our operations are part of that 24/7 watch to ensure the UK stays safe and secure.”
While Montrose followed the progress of the Russian ships, the RAF provided air support to watch over the operation.