Royal Navy scrambled to intercept Russia navy as ships travel along UK coast

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HMS Defender

The Type 45 destroyer kept an eagle-eye on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships as they passed close to UK territorial waters.

Portsmouth-based Defender is monitoring the Russian task group and tracking their activity.

The Minister for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, said: “The Royal Navy is always standing ready to defend the UK.”

“We will continue to work with our allies to shadow Russian ships passing through international waters close to our shores, to ensure the Russian navy follows the correct protocol on its journey.”

HMS Defender left Newcastle on Saturday March 2 to head north east of Scotland and meet the vessels.

The group comprises the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, tug Nicolay Chiker, supply ship Elbrus and tanker Kama.

Commander Richard Hewitt, the Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, said: “The security of the seas around our coastline remains crucial to our national interests.

“Escorting the Admiral Gorshkov has demonstrated the Royal Navy’s enduring commitment to protecting our home waters and readiness to undertake such tasking whenever it’s required.”

HMS Defender is always on standby to respond to a wide range of short notice tasks.

These include search and rescue duties to maritime security patrols.

She is equipped with a Wildcat helicopter of Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron.

The Sampson radar on top of its mast can track hundreds of contacts in the skies from hundreds of miles away.

Also her Sea Viper missile system can intercept targets at four times the speed of sound.

She will continue to escort the Russian naval task force this week as it passes through the English Channel.



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