Royal Navy scrambles a frigate to intercept a Russian warship as it sails into the English Channel on the way back from the Mediterranean
- HMS St Albans took over the watch from French ships as the Russian Marshall Ustinov sailed into the English Channel after returning from the Mediterranean
- A Merlin helicopter was scrambled to keep an eye on the ship in open waters
- The Russian Navy ship is sailing alongside an auxiliary ship and tug
A Russian warship is being tailed in UK waters after the Royal Navy scrambled a frigate to the English Channel.
The Royal Navy frigate HMS St Albans rushed out to open waters after an alert came in.
The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate is currently tasked with protecting UK waters and has been activated to keep watch on Russian Slava-class cruiser Marshall Ustinov.
St Albans deployed her Merlin helicopter to observe the movements of the task group as they navigate the south coast of the UK.
HMS St Albans was scrambled to the English Channel after Russian Marshall Ustinov sailed in
Commander John Cromie, the Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, said: ‘As the fleet ready escort, HMS St Albans is held at high readiness to respond to any foreign warship that might represent a potential threat to the integrity of UK waters.
‘In this instance the interaction between St Albans and Marshall Ustinov has proven both cordial and professional, reflecting the mutual understanding of customs that exist between professional mariners.
‘My crew are however trained to the very highest standard and are prepared to respond to any eventuality.’
A Royal Navy statement said: ‘The Russian unit – accompanied by an auxiliary ship and tug – recently left the Mediterranean and was tracked by allied French naval warships through the Bay of Biscay.
‘As the current Fleet Ready Escort, HMS St Albans is the Royal Navy’s very high readiness ship which is charged with protecting the integrity of UK waters.
‘And she was therefore prepared to monitor the Russians as they entered the Channel, taking over the watch from the French warships.’