Royal Navy scrambles to intercept fleet of nine Russian warships spotted in waters near UK

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The Royal Navy has pushed back nine Russian warships after “increased activity levels” were noted in waters near the UK.

An operation alongside NATO allies saw offshore patrol vessels HMS Mersey and HMS Tyne join the Type 23 frigate Westminster to monitor “every move” of the Russian fleet.

This consisted of three Steregushchiy-class corvettes, three Ropucha-class landing ships and the same number of missile-armed patrol boats.

The Russians were followed through some of the world’s busiest sea lanes by the Navy and its allies, including Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

Offshore patrol vessel HMS Mersey shadows one of nine Russian warships seen in near UK waters

The Russians were followed through some of the world's busiest sea lanes by the navy and its allies, including Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

The Russians were followed through some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes by the Navy and its allies, including Portugal, Canada, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

The Royal Navy warships have been assigned to the NATO Ultra High Readiness Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which patrols the waters of northern Europe, from the Baltic to the Atlantic.

The Royal Navy warships have been assigned to the NATO Very High Readiness Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which patrols the waters of northern Europe, from the Baltic to the Atlantic.

The Russian ships had dispersed after their navy day in St. Petersburg last month and left the Baltic Sea to head to the North Sea for full-scale exercises.

The Royal Navy warships have been assigned to NATO’s Ultra High Readiness Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), which patrols the waters of northern Europe from the Baltic to the Atlantic. .

The British ships worked closely with the Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real – the flagship of the task group – and the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy, while there were numerous support ships from the German, Norwegian and Danish navies.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tanker RFA Tideforce helped keep ships at sea by refueling and refueling.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, Commander Will Paston, said: “The Royal Navy has demonstrated its flexibility in allowing Russian Navy units to be observed.

“While the Russian Navy operated in a safe and professional manner, HMS Westminster partnered with NATO Allied units across the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to escort them throughout.

HMS Westminster joined PNR Corte-Real in the north, monitoring the missile-armed patrol boats, while under the control of HMCS Toronto, HMS Tyne and the Mersey kept watch on corvettes and landing ships as they were heading south towards the English Channel.

“Observation missions like this are increasingly common for the Mersey and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron,” added Lt Cdr Edwards-Bannon.

An operation alongside NATO allies saw offshore patrol boats HMS Mersey, pictured, and HMS Tyne join the Type 23 frigate Westminster to monitor 'every move' of the Russian fleet

An operation alongside NATO allies saw Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Mersey, pictured, and HMS Tyne join Type 23 frigate Westminster to monitor ‘every move’ of the Russian fleet

The British ships worked closely with the Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real - the flagship of the task group - and the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy, while there were numerous support ships from the German, Norwegian and Danish navies.

The British ships worked closely with the Portuguese frigate NRP Corte-Real – the flagship of the task group – and the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Toronto of the Royal Canadian Navy, while there were numerous support ships from the German, Norwegian and Danish navies.

“This was the first time in recent years, however, that we had done this under NATO operational command.

“As such, we proudly hoisted the NATO flag here in Mersey as we worked closely with service colleagues from many of the Alliance’s 30 member countries, both ashore and NATO Maritime Command HQ in London and afloat in the other Allied warships constituting permanent NATO. Maritime group one.

Lieutenant-Commander Richard Skelton, Commanding Officer of HMS Tyne, said: “I am proud to say that Tyne has integrated seamlessly into SNMG1 and has supported NATO in monitoring Russian activities in the North Sea.

“The speed at which the task force formed and became operationally effective is a testament to NATO’s strength and I am happy to be a part of it. “

The latest operation comes after the Mersey and sister ship Tyne tracked the destroyer RFS Vice-Admiral Kulakov as it headed for the North Sea and across the Channel earlier this month.

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