Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster has sailed today to escort Russian vessels through the English Channel.
The Type 23 Frigates form the core of the Royal Navy’s fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers.
Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations. Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy.
This comes not long after HMS St Albans escorted a Russian warship through the North Sea and areas of UK interest on Christmas Day. The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate was called upon to sail on 23 December and keep watch on the new Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov as it passed close to UK territorial waters.
HMS St Albans remained at sea on Christmas Day to monitor the Russian frigate, keeping track of its activity in areas of national interest.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression. Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests.”
The festive season has seen an upsurge in Russian units transiting UK waters. HMS Tyne was also called to escort a different vessel, a Russian intelligence-gathering ship, through the North Sea and the English Channel on Christmas Eve. A Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton, was then dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels.