A Royal Navy vessel fired a warning flare after Spanish Guardia Civil vessel got too close to nuclear submarine HMS Talent.

It ia understood that HMS Talent was departing Gibraltar after having her Tomahawk missile stores replenished.

Local media have reported on the incident.

This is becoming increasingly common. Earlier in the month, the USS Newport News, a Los Angeles class submarine, was harassed as she visited Gibraltar

Local media reported at the time that eyewitnesses said a Spanish customs boat was intercepted by a Gibraltar Defence Police vessel after it came too close to the US submarine. The report states:

“If classed as an incursion, the incident will almost certainly draw a diplomatic protest, as happens as a matter of routine with all incursions by Spanish state vessels.”

This isn’t an isolated incident, late last year the Royal Navy were forced to chase off a Spanish vessel as it cut across the path of a visiting US Naval vessel in Gibraltar, the USNS Carson City.

The USNS Carson City is a Spearhead class expeditionary fast transport, currently in service with the Military Sealift Command. This American naval vessel was the result of an effort to design a high-speed, shallow draft vessel intended for rapid intratheatre transport of medium-sized cargo payloads.

In addition, last May a Spanish patrol boat reportedly tried to “hassle” an American nuclear submarine attempting to dock at Gibraltar.

According to multiple sources, flares were fired across the bow of the Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena in mid-April as it twice attempted to sail across the front of the American ballistic missile submarine USS Florida.

The USS Florida, a 20,000 ton Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, was commissioned in 1983 with the hull designation of SSBN-728; with her conversion to a cruise missile submarine, she was re-designated SSGN-728. She carriers 154 BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

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Impound the vessel. Break it up. Send it back across the border on the back of a truck. Sorted.

Ian Hands

Eryneof thm

David Steeper

Simply inform the Spanish of an exclusion zone within 12 nm’s of Gibraltar any unauthorized ship entering will be impounded or sunk. If we continue to do nothing this will continue to happen.


Or the next time a US sub is harassed. Simply do nothing and wait for the US captain to sink the Spanish vessel…

Ian Hands

Yes i think that’s tump will fire


That would mean Spanish shipping couldn’t use Algeciras or Cadiz – both big ports. Perhaps 1NM is sufficient


(Chris H) Its usually the Median line between two coasts when they are closer than 24 Nmiles.

Nigel Collins

Live rounds next time, please.

And do people honestly think that all NATO members will come rushing to our aid if needed post Brexit?

“Twelve countries were part of the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982).”


This is what happens when you leave the EU folks, some nations see a weakness .
Putin would not have done the novichoks attack if we where still a member ,this is going to keep happening if we dont increase our military power.

Neil Stapley

We are still a member.

David Steeper

Dave12 You mean like Litvinenko ?


So why were these incidents happening for many years before we voted to leave? The EU have always turned a blind eye to Spanish provocation which is astonishing when you think about it. These are acts of Military aggression by one EU member against another… Is that not what we are told the EU was formed to prevent?

Paul T

Lee1 – more importantly one NATO member to another id say.

W Tatlock

Next time sink the d–,heads make it clear a second sinking an armarder would not be a problem


Nothing to do with the EU. It’s been ongoing for years! And it’s a fellow NATO ally. They harassed a us sub last month they do it on a regular basis.


or we stay in EU – perhaps doing both are optimal


Staying in the EU eventually means saying goodbye to any pretence of British independence and sovereignty. It is the perpetual subordination of the country to Brussels – and people like the sneering Macron. If one dislikes the centralisation of power in Westminster, one should shudder at further centralisation in Belgium. Ever closer union is a one way street, European subsidiarity is a joke. Moreover, you can see for yourself how hard it is to extract ourselves from the EU and that is with a Remainer PM bending over backwards to accommodate the EU. The idea of “pooled sovereignty” is laughable.… Read more »


Under the EU I saw the uk in a very good state , only time will tell when we leave but going on by the fact france has just over taken us in size of economy for the first time ever it doesnt look good.You make out being in the EU is like being under the nazis lol we didnt even have the same currency and had good working rights. So its seems we are going to have a smaller economy and be less irrelevant in the world, a lot of a cost for a couple of EU rules.Hey if… Read more »


The Spanish were doing this *long* before the British people voted to leave the EUSSR. Nice try dave12.


Clearly you forget a certain Putin organised nuclear attack on a coffee shop in London some years ago. Russia under Putin doesn’t let the niceties of EU membership get in the way as the poisoning in Germany recently signifies.


Yes, because Putin is terrified of the EU and Luftwaffe’s 3 working Typhoons.

Putin loves the EU, because it consolidates power in Germany which he is slowly ensnaring by the 3 Nord Stream gas pipelines in the offing. Putin will soon have Germany by the balls and therefore also the whole EU.

Peter wright

It is nothing to do with leaving the EU. They have been doing this for tens of years. They hate the fact that the Rock is British. That’s all.

Chris J

@Dave12 The UK choice to leave the EU and Spain behaving like morons around Gib are not connected in any way. You know it, I know it, everyone else on this board knows it. You people who desperatly try to link everything to brexit are becoming quite tiresome now and I say this as a remain voter.


It really gets my goat how our Politicians allow the Spanish to prance around playing the victim card over Gib. Not once have I heard any of them mention the Spanish enclaves across the water in Africa in any counter argument. Instead they fanny around trying to find a face saving way in which to share Gib with Madrid.



Its time we based one of the new River class offshore patrol vessels at Gibraltar on a permanent

Mr Bell

I would take a River batch 1 out of service. When the batch 2 boats are actually ready. Then UOR fit phalanx, NSM and anarmoured/ toughened hull, acouple of miniguns, gpmgs, 20mm canons and some non lethal weapons then deploy this vessel to guard Gibraltar. Next time the Spanish enter UK waters the gloves come off. We will get more and more of these episodes as BREXIT approaches. The UK wants a special and close relationship to our “friends and allies” in the EU. The EU wants to shaft us over and teach the UK a lesson for daring to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Agree Mr Bell!

Though not on the Gib bit I think that will just inflame the situation.

A passive response like shallow cables as Helions suggests is far less provocative and will really spoil the Spaniards day.


I do agree but let us not be glib or gloss over the challenges we will have to face and overcome on the way – this only plays in to the Remainers’ hands. Once we leave the EU, there will certainly be a short recession, some job losses and travel chaos. Brexit was never going to be easy. But in the moths and years after Brexit these will be ironed out, we will up our game and relearn to compete. We will find new markets, the EU will grow up and accept our decisions and we will establish new trade… Read more »

Mr Bell

Looks like no deal is going to be the one and only outcome possible from our beloved friends and allies in the EU. NATO is dead, we should utterly pull out the corrupt self congratulating EU, draw up the drawer bridge and take the inevitable economic hit. WTO is not the end of the world and is actually likely to lead to increased income into the Exchequer. It is now time to invest in the UK infrastructure, education, health and social care. Time to rebuild our armed forces and give zero tolerance to any EU country that thinks they can… Read more »


I repeat my earlier suggestion of shallow, steel cabled, torpedo nets randomly laid and shifted across all but the designated channel with several patrol boats on duty at the mouth to stifle nonsense…


David Steeper

Helions you really don’t understand every HMG I’ve ever known. The nastier you treat them the more they grovel and fawn. I have a theory that they simply do at work what they do in their sex lives !


It seems we’ll have to wait for Trump to realise the UK government lacks the balls to do anything, so he will give the order to robustly protect USN assets themselves. I would pay good money to see the look on those spanish rat faces when a US minigun tears up a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel 🙂


I don’t actually think ‘balls’ comes into it. Stand back and look, Putin will be rubbing his hands at 2 NATO allies arguing. It is an age old dispute and should not be blown up out of proportion. I prefer Helions idea of putting down cables WITHIN territorial water to prevent Spanish vessels coming in and forcing any incidents to international waters. US administration could easily stop Spain by applying pressure through other means rather than stupidly shooting

Daniele Mandelli

Just laugh at the Spanish.

We are in control today.

And will be tomorrow.

May coukd stand outside No10 to face the world’s press if she wanted to embarrass Spain.

But she like many others would not.


Why dont we just resurrect out claim to Minorca if they don’t lay off, a much nicer holiday spot.

Mr J Bell

We need a toughened armoured hull ramming vessel. Something fast, massively armoured and able to just push the buggers away.if a Spanish vessel then sinks, that is there loss, they should not have been in UK territorial waters.


Hi there, some good posts! HM Defence should also send the Spanish government a bill for the resources used each time our military have to act. Not much bucks granted, but will give them a head ache especially if we also size any vessel inducting what amounts to piracy.


basing a seagoing Royal Naval training squadron at Gib would be a positive move for a number of reasons. Having all three B 1 Rivers, 1 of which in reserve as HQ and accommodation ship ( there is no MOD accommodation at Gib). 1: improve rn retention as it would be a nice introduction to naval life,2. Improve small ship handling skills for bridge crews. 3. Send a strong political message of reassurance to the population. 4. Send an equally string message to Spain. 5. Improve Mediterranean coverage with NATO. And as a by product increase lifespan of Rivets owing… Read more »


Gibraltar was ceeded to the UK by treaty……likewise, Guam was ceeded to the USA by treaty. When Spain gets Guam back, perhaps an agreement can be reached between the Gibraltarians and the Spanish. Perhaps Spain will give Ceuta back to the Moroccans?? Somehow, I think the big stick of the USA keeps the Spanish quiet…..we need to build up the UK’s armed forces!