A ROYAL Navy patrol ship from Portsmouth was called upon to shadow a Russian frigate as it passed through the English Channel.
HMS Tyne kept a watchful eye on the Yaroslav Mudry, a Russian Neustrashimy-class frigate, last week.
Tyne is the latest patrol vessel to be activated this year to monitor the activity of Russian surface ships sailing in or close to the UK’s area of interest.
Patrol ship HMS Mersey, destroyer HMS Diamond, and frigate HMS Montrose have all been dispatched to observe Russian vessels passing the UK in recent months.
Lieutenant Peter Cowan, Tyne’s executive officer, said: ‘Escorting foreign warships is not only a clear statement of our nation’s determination to protect our area of interest but is also a great opportunity for our people.
‘It challenges the ship’s company by asking them to prepare and deliver a dynamic tasking and use their expert knowledge and experience to lead us to a successful mission.’
Earlier this year, the former commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Jerry Kyd spoke of his concern about the rise of Russia’s military prowess.
Speaking from the 65,000-tonne carrier before she departed from Portsmouth to America, Captain Kyd said: ‘The increase in Russian activity we have seen in the last couple of years is frightening.
‘For national security reasons, it just underlines why we need to maintain a balanced, strong, able and capable fleet.
‘It’s been quite eye-watering for the last couple of years.’
HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently tackling the second phase of her trials with the F-35B stealth jets.
This is expected to last for several more weeks before the ship’s company sets sail for Portsmouth.