A ROYAL Navy warship is shadowing a Russian patrol ship as it passes through the English Channel towards Dover.
HMS Forth sailed from Liverpool on Sunday to meet the Russian Navy vessel Vasily Bykov as she neared UK waters.
Forth located the ship before following her movements alongside Royal Navy aircraft from Culdrose-based 824 Naval Air Squadron and Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron.
It comes one week after HMS Forth was officially welcomed to the Royal Navy fleet having completed her operational sea training for the first time.
Lieutenant Samuel Fields, the ship’s executive officer, said: ‘As a brand new addition to the Royal Navy’s operational fleet, this was an ideal tasking for HMS Forth to display the versatility and capability of our ship.
‘This is normal business for the Royal Navy, being prepared at all times to respond to any vessels in the UK’s area of interest. HMS Forth is one of the Royal Navy’s ships kept at very high readiness to protect the integrity of UK waters.
‘The Royal Navy has an enduring commitment to protecting our home waters and is on duty 365 days a year to ensure this commitment is met.’
Forth sailed at high speed and met the Russian patrol ship on Monday (24 Jun) afternoon off the coast of western France, ensuring the vessel would be monitored throughout her period of transit through the UK’s area of interest.
After patrols around the UK, Forth is due to be sent to the Falklands at the end of this year to replace HMS Clyde as the islands’ permanent naval guardian.
The aim is to operate Forth’s four sister ships – Medway, Trent, Spey and Tamar – from ports and bases around the globe to provide a constant Royal Navy presence in regions such as the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Far East.
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