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.

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Mr Bell

Apart from sabre rattling what are the bloody Russians upto? Why so many ship movements through the channel?
we should send a squadron to sail up by Murmansk and see how they like it.

Luq man

Calm down. Steregushchy corvettes sailing back to Kaliningrad.

Ben P

They are well within their rights to transit to the channel. Northern fleet ships transition down to the Mediterranean all the time.


Normal service for the RN and RAF, and as long as they always accompany these Russian movements then it’s business as usual.

Ben P

I know, but every time it happens, it is somehow big news like we are been invaded by Russia.

Dennis Reeves

It’s more Willy waving…..
And they do have the right of passage….

Nick Bowman

Admiral Gorshkov is a very modern frigate armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles for land attack, amongst other things.

Daniele Mandelli

I don’t get the anti Russian hysteria. And I also do not get the defence secretaries rhetoric. If Russians reacted like posters here we’d have a war on our hands given how much NATO assets snoop around their borders. If ships of their northern fleet want to deploy anywhere they need to go through GIUK gap and down past the UK purely as an accident of geography. As for us sending ships to Murmansk area. One we probably do, in the form of SSNs, and two the RN will not be deploying to the Med, Gulf or Indian Ocean via… Read more »

Barry White

Daniele Mandelli
Couldn’t agree more
Why is it even mentioned
UKDJ are as much to blame for even putting it on here


It’s news, and if it helps maintain the defence budget by scaring the MSM readers, so much the better!

Daniele Mandelli

THAT is an excellent point.


How scruffy does Westminster look ? The T23s will be knackered before a single T26 or T31 enters service….


You again….. zzzZZZ

David Stephen

The point is caution, like why they have police officers at football games. As for the cost, we already have the ship and are paying the crew so probably just the fuel. Try harder.


1). To show w ahve the ability to escort them
2). To make sure they don’t collide with other shipping
3). To make newspaper headlines and help maintain the defence budget
4). To make sure they don’t fly tip galley gash