The British Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS St Albans has escorted the Russian Navy’s Slava-class cruiser Marshall Ustinov through the English Channel.
Deployed by the Royal Navy to defend the country’s seas and oceans, the Type 23 vessel has been currently engaged to keep watch on the Russian warship, as well as on an auxiliary ship and tug accompanying the cruiser.
The three Russian Navy vessels are reported to have departed from the Mediterranean and were tracked by allied warships deployed by the French Navy through the Bay of Biscay.
As Marshall Ustinov entered the English Channel, HMS St Albans took over the tracking mission from the French Navy vessels.
Operating as the Royal Navy’s current Fleet Ready Escort, HMS St Albans is deployed to protect UK territorial waters.
HMS St Albans commanding officer commander John Cromie 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.”
During the watch, the frigate deployed its Merlin helicopter to observe the Russian task group’s movements as the vessels navigated along the UK’s south coast.
HMS St Albans will continue to monitor the task group through the English Channel until the ships sail away from the UK territorial waters.
In January, the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster was deployed to escort a Russian military task group, comprising two Russian Navy’s Steregushchiy-class frigates Soobrazitelny and Boiky, and two supporting vessels Paradoks and Kola, through the English Channel and areas of UK interest.