While it’s usual for Russian submarines to sail near the UK, it’s unusual for them to be found in the Irish Sea.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the presence of a submarine.

“We saw a Russian submarine in the Irish Sea, which I don’t think we have seen for a very very long time,” he told the Telegraph.

“We’re regularly visited by nosy Russian ships, and we are regularly visited now by a number of Russian warships.”

Ruslan Balbek, the deputy of Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, criticised the remarks of Wallace.

“We don’t share common borders, not the most extensive trade ties – where do we pose a threat to Great Britain?” RIA Novosti quoted Balbek as saying on Sunday.

“That’s all the fantasies of British politicians who are mentally very far away from the English people.”

Readers should be aware that in Russian, ‘English’ and ‘British’ are typically interchangable.

It has been suggested a Russian submarine which was spotted in the Irish Sea is likely to have been there on an intelligence gathering mission after a Russian intelligence gathering vessel was spotted near the UK Carrier Strike Group on exercises off the Scottish coast.

The RFS Yuriy Ivanov was photographed closely monitoring HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group off the Scottish coast.

John Clark, who can be found on Twitter at @jrclarkbf800, captured an image of the vessel, his tweet is shown below. Thank you to John for allowing me to reproduce these images.

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Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
21 days ago

Am I right in thinking that international law requires submarines to be on the surface while in national waters? Presumably this sub entered the Irish Sea surfaced, otherwise we’d have sent the Russians a rude note.

lee1
lee1
21 days ago

Not only does it have to be on the surface, it also has to broadcast its position as far as I am aware.

Paul T
Paul T
21 days ago

Interested to know by what means this Submarine was detected?.

Nick C
Nick C
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

And also where it was detected. If it had been shadowing the recent exercises and then transited south it would have to have been surfaced going through the North Channel. If it came in from the south there is more than 12 miles between us and the Irish and it could have been submerged, Wallace’s comment was “seen” so I suspect it was surfaced, it may have taken in a little snooping duty while on passage from the Kola to the Med, rather than going through the Channel.

Nic
Nic
20 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

Maybe the Irish Navy spotted while out on patrol around the coast.

James Simmonds
James Simmonds
18 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Irish navy? That basically doesn’t exist and they don’t have submarine detection capabilities.

Crabfat
Crabfat
21 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Mk 1 Eyeball?

Paul T
Paul T
20 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

My point (sort of) was if this Submarine was carrying out some sort of covert surveillance why would it be doing it on the surface, surely that would defeat the object, unless the main aim of its venture was actually to be seen.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
21 days ago

Possibly finished what it was doing and decided to catch a few rays; and headlines.

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
21 days ago

If this story appears in any of the national daily newspapers, you can bet that their websites will be full of comments saying how the nasty Russians are aggressive by sailing in the Irish Sea.

Meirion X
Meirion X
21 days ago

It may be the case to make more T23s available for ASW taskings, and with additional TAS sets.
And equip T31 for ASW taskings in the future?

geoff
geoff
21 days ago

Russians are not the only ones guilty of using ‘English’ and ‘British’ to mean the same thing. How many times does one hear of England’s Queen Elizabeth or England’s Parliament? England has neither of those institutions.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
20 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Absolutely, Geoff – in 1707 the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland voluntarily merged to become the Kingdom of Great Britain.

In these islands today, unwittingly, people only use terms like England and Scotland through long-standing customs – I believe there is no legal or constitutional basis for doing so.

Last edited 20 days ago by Alan Reid
geoff
geoff
20 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Thanks for comment Alan. They are of course constituent parts of the UK but Elizabeth is not the English Queen. In fact there is an interesting historical anomaly here. Elizabeth the First was Queen of England and the first of England When the thrones merged in 1606, the Monarch became King of the United Kingdom but retained their seperate titles asof Scotland and England as well. After the Union of the nations under one Parliament in 1707, the Monarch assumed the Title of King or Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Thus, strictly speaking our current Monarch is actually Elizabeth… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
20 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff I agree – she is really Queen Elizabeth the First of the United Kingdom of GB & NI. During the 17th century, I believe there was no formal merger of the thrones – the Stuarts ran a personal union with the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. For instance, after his father’s execution, Charles II was crowned King of Scots at Scone in 1651. But as the 18th century opened, the Act of Union made Queen Anne, Queen of the Kingdom of Great Britain, plus she was already Queen of Ireland. Another Act of Union in the… Read more »

geoff
geoff
19 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Great post Alan. You got me started-The QE’s ships badge is from the Tudors-essentially the flag of Wales! HMS Prince of Wales has a ships Badge featuring the Cross of St George from the flag of England!? The Royal Standard in England has the 3 Lions in the 1st and 4th quarter. The miffed Scots Heralds have the Lion Rampant in the 1st and 4th!! Simple solution to satisfy all 4-give the forth to Wales which is not represented at all!! Why? Because the crusty old heralds say Wales is not a nation but a Principality!!! Wales is not represented… Read more »

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
18 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hi Geoff, I like your clever observation ….. “The QE’s ships badge is from the Tudors-essentially the flag of Wales! HMS Prince of Wales has a ships Badge featuring the Cross of St George from the flag of England.”
Shows how confusingly intermingled we are in the UK!

geoff
geoff
21 days ago

If they are in international waters then there should not be a problem. The main reason the QE Task Force is venturing into the troubled seas around China is precisely to confirm the right of passage in International waters.

Crabfat
Crabfat
21 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Don’t we have a T45 in the Black Sea, at present? If we are there, then we can expect them to be here. We are only looking at each other. Just playing the Great Game…
Cheers

Andy P
Andy P
21 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Definitely mate, its not like we’re squeaky clean on this stuff ourselves.

Crabfat
Crabfat
21 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

We’re very good at it, so I believe…!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
20 days ago

Our SSN used to hang out outside Murmansk and Archangelsk. This is small fry.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
20 days ago

This is a bit of a none story in the Great Game of things and to be fair it is nothing we haven’t done ourselves. After submarines sneeking up on each other and gather intel is basically what they do. However, if the ‘press’ blow it up out of proportion, as they usually do, then perhaps it will help to keep the case for rebuilding our Armed Forces, especially the RN. Lets face if a couple more of our very badly informed MP’s get all hot a bothered about the lack of defence and security then all well and good.… Read more »

david
david
20 days ago

At what point will the RN pretend they haven’t seen a Russian sub? I guess its just as important to let your adversary know that you have not seen them as announcing their presence.

Last edited 20 days ago by david
Steve M
Steve M
20 days ago

They have probably had subs in the Irish for years. The fact we have had zero MPA’s for 10 years and only3 or 4 ASW frigates operational (at one time) means we have very little chance of spotting them.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Son of Sosus is alive and well and has been for many years… It just has a new name. Anything in the Irish sea would have been tracked

Andrew D
Andrew D
19 days ago

There could be looking for a grate of Guinness floating around 🤗

Nic
Nic
19 days ago

The Russians will be kept busy with all the ongoing exercises.