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.
.@RoyalNavy #Gibraltar Squadron fires warning flare after Spanish Guardia Civil vessel got too close to nuclear submarine HMS Talent, which was departing the Rock with a local tug. GBC understands the flare followed repeated radio warnings to back off. pic.twitter.com/N4VFPQ1ZS6
— GBC News (@GBCNewsroom) September 20, 2018
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.