Russian ship escorted by Portsmouth frigate

HMS St Albans (background) with the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry (foreground)    Picture: PO Lee Blease
HMS St Albans (background) with the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry (foreground) Picture: PO Lee Blease
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A PORTSMOUTH Royal Navy frigate from Portsmouth was tasked with escorting a Russian warship through the English Channel and Dover Strait.

The Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans escorted the Yaroslav Mudry (named after Yaroslav the Wise, from Ukraine) round the UK coastline.

HMS St Albans is the current Fleet Ready Escort – and is therefore charged with protecting UK waters.

The navy was reacting to the Russian warship sailing close to the UK coastline, keeping a close eye on the Neustrashimyy-class battleship as she sailed passed.

The Yaroslav Mudry battleship specialises in anti-submarine warfare.

HMS St Albans is equipped with a Merlin helicopter from 829 Naval Air Squadron, as well as state-of-the-art radar.

The Fleet Ready Escort is at short notice to react to any maritime threat to the United Kingdom.

Commander John Cromie, Commanding Officer of HMS St Albans, said: ‘As the Royal Navy’s high readiness unit in UK waters, we are the first responders to any potential incursion into UK waters and are highly trained in this role.

‘Our activation today in response to the passage of a Russian warship close to the UK resulted in a cordial interaction between professional sailors based on the recognised conventions at sea.

‘We are always standing ready, as is the rest of the fleet, to defend UK waters and UK sovereignty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.’