The Royal Navy’s (RN) River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Mersey has tracked the movement of a Russian tanker vessel in the English Channel.
The Portsmouth-based vessel was recently deployed to monitor the new Russian Project 23130 replenishment oiler Akademik Pashin.
This comes a month after the RN’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Portland shadowed two Russian submarines in the North Sea region.
According to the RN, HMS Mersey shadowed Pashin from the North Sea through the Dover Strait and continued towards the open waters of the North Atlantic.
HMS Mersey able seaman Jordan Mavin said: “We were aware of her movements for some time and everything came together to allow us to shadow her.
“Operating so close to our own coastline I was proud to be part of team who monitored her movements.”
The British Navy noted that Akademik Pashin is the first vessel acquired by the Russian Navy since the end of the Cold War.
The oiler is primarily used for supplying the fuel to the Northern Fleet ships, allowing them to continue the operations.
The RN also said that the newly built Russian tanker is under the scrutiny of the UK’s Armed Forces.
HMS Mersey commanding officer lieutenant commander James Mitchell said: “It has been a team effort, working with our Nato partners monitoring movements of Russian vessels through North Sea and English Channel.
“Whilst most of UK has been enjoying a record summer of warm weather, Mersey is just one of a number of RN vessels maintaining a continuous presence at sea, protecting UK interests.”
The River-class OPV HMS Mersey, along with sister ships HMS Tyne and Severn, is responsible for monitoring the activities in the home waters.