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Type 23 Frigate HMS Kent has been sent to watch the Stary Oskol, a Russian submarine of the Kilo class which left her home port of Severmorsk, Murmansk and reached our coast on Sunday.

The Kilo class is the NATO reporting name for a naval diesel-electric submarine that is made in Russia. The original version of the vessels were designated Project 877 Paltus in the Soviet Union.

These attack submarines are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters.

HMS Kentโ€™s commanding officer, Cdr Daniel Thomas, said:

“Locating this submarine was a combined effort with Nato allies and shadowing such units is routine activity for the Royal Navy.

We continue to escort the submarine as it conducts its passage, providing a visible presence.”

The Type 23 frigate were originally designed for anti-submarine warfare however have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations around the globe. 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.

Sailors aboard HMS Kent have reportedly been tracking the sub over the last few days and it is believed sheย is currently off Dover.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told The Sun newspaper:

“This shows that the Navy is maintaining a vigilant watch in international and territorial waters to keep Britain safe and protect us from potential threats.”

27 COMMENTS

    • Ryan Andrew Black NATO told us he was there as they were previously tracking not difficult really as was surfaced with a tug. Also the ship was on hand as was coming back from Jutland commemorations so we were lucky we had a ship in area. Otherwise we may of had to ask the Russian sub to Hold up for a while we go an escort up there!

    • Russia have always tested northern costal defences.. Air and sea!
      (Mainly as it’s the fastest coast line to arrive at)
      It’s nothing new to northerners.
      It’s only the last few years became more co manly known due to social media etc etc.
      it’s became that often the Russian and interceptor RAF pilots wave at each other.

  1. I don’t know much about the ability of each vessel…but if the Russian sub is that close, could do some
    Damage to the uk surely before that frigate could react?

  2. It is not clear from the article how this sub was spotted, we just know that once spotted the frigate tracked it. I assume it was spotted by an allied maritime aircraft patrol.

    Ultimately frigates aren’t much use for protecting the coast, as they take too long to get to a position unless we know well in advance where they need to be Aircraft are much for effective, leaving the frigates for escort duty or protecting fixed points like harbors.

  3. Not only a routine activity, but also probably common sense, submarines are low in the water so aren’t that visible and could possibly collide with shipping if travelling through the channel, if we’re shadowing them then we’re nearby to lend assistance if an accident occurs.

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