HMS Duncan and HMS Richmond are pictured here escorting a Russian carrier group through UK waters.
The Russian Task Group, which includes the sole Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, the nuclear powered Kirov Class Battlecruiser, Pyotr Velikiy and two Udaloy Class Destroyers, Vice Admiral Kulakov and Severomorsk sailed from Russia on Saturday the 15th October to join Russian anti-Islamic State military operations in Syria.
A Royal Navy spokesperson:
“UK and NATO assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different.”
The carrier Admiral Kuznetsov’s main fixed-wing aircraft is the multi-role Sukhoi Su-33. The carrier also carries the Kamov Ka-27 and Kamov Ka-27S helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and small transport.
Claims that the Admiral Kuznetsov will be deployed to Syria to fight Islamic State had been met with scepticism.
According to TASS, a military-diplomatic source in Moscow said on Saturday:
“The General Staff has prepared a plan for involvement of the deck aircraft in delivering strikes on terrorist groups in the Syrian Arab Republic, where the crews will practice taking off the carrier to deliver strikes on ground targets.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, will be close to the Syrian shore so that the deck aircraft have enough fuel to complete the military tasks and return back.”