Sailors on board HMS Dragon are now keeping a watchful eye on more Russian naval vessels, after a seven-strong task group has entered the English Channel.
The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer has been monitoring the movements of the group, which is being led by the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
HMS Dragon is the Royal Navy’s current Fleet Ready Escort – a ship which is kept at high-readiness to respond to such events.
The ship and her 200-strong company sailed from Portsmouth for the task, the Ministry of Defence has today confirmed.
Once the ships spotted each other, they briefly sailed close by as a standard ‘meet and greet’, the Royal Navy said.
As well as the Kuznetsov, the task group includes: the Kirov-class nuclear-powered battle cruiser Pyotr Velikiy; tankers; Segey Osipov, Kama and Dubna; one ocean-going tug Altay and the landing support ship Minsk.
Captain Rex Cox, the commanding officer of HMS Dragon, said: ‘Following our recent activation HMS Dragon has once more monitored a Russian task group through the UK’s areas of interest.
‘This is very much routine business for both HMS Dragon and the Royal Navy.
‘What is different here is that a Russian task group of this size has not passed by our shores in some time.’
Minister for the armed forces, Mark Francois, said: ‘This routine action by HMS Dragon, in her capacity as the Fleet Ready Escort, once again underlines the professionalism and credibility of the Royal Navy in keeping the whole of the UK secure at and from the sea.’