Spanish naval vessel Furor has entered the territorial waters of Gibraltar, Royal Navy vessel HMS Sabre has responded.
Royal Navy patrol vessels are often called into action to intercept Spanish naval vessels that have manoeuvred too close to the British territory.
Spanish Navy OPV Furor currently entering Gibraltar’s waters, Royal Navy HMS Sabre heading out to respond pic.twitter.com/TLP26ZWR4r
— Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel) February 17, 2020
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said that the vessel was challenged by the Royal Navy.
“We can confirm an incursion by the Spanish navy occurred this morning. As with all incursions, the Royal Navy challenged the vessel.”
The vessel responding is HMS Sabre, pictured below.
HMS Sabre is a Scimitar class fast patrol boat, commissioned into the Gibraltar Squadron in January 2003 along with her sister Scimitar. The vessel is used for police, customs and rescue purposes.
— Michael J Sanchez (@key2med) February 17, 2020
The Furor is an offshore patrol vessel of the Meteoro class (a member of this class of warship is pictured at the top of this article).
The Spanish Navy say that the main missions of this type are:
- Protection and escort of other ships in low intensity/asymmetric warfare situations
- Control of maritime traffic
- Control and neutralization of terrorism and piracy
- Operations against drug trafficking and human trafficking
- Search and rescue
- Support for crisis situations and humanitarian aid
- Control of fishing laws
- Control of environmental legislation and anti-pollution.
The ships can also be modified for purposes outside main missions such as hydrographic research, intelligence gathering, diving support and salvage operations.