Royal Navy warship monitors Russian ships in UK waters

A Royal Navy warship has been monitoring two Russian ships in UK waters off Scotland.

Patrol ship HMS Tyne has kept close watch on Viktor Leonov, an intelligence-gathering ship, and her supporting tanker Sergey Osipov.

They have been sailing around the Moray Firth, where they sheltered from Storm Aiden when it hit the country on October 31 and carried out replenishment operations before the Osipov left UK waters.

The role of Portsmouth-based HMS Tyne falls under Defence Task One – protecting the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.

Russian ships
The Russian ships have been sailing around the Moray Firth (Royal Navy/PA)

Lieutenant Justin Shirtcliff, the ship’s operations officer, said: “It was apparent these two ships were making use of the shelter from the high winds and inclement seas of Storm Aiden, and Tyne remained close by to monitor their activity.

“HMS Tyne and her sailors remain ready for short-notice tasking, whatever the weather, wherever the task.”

It is the third time in a month that the patrol ship has shadowed foreign warships in home waters – partly in conjunction with Nato allies.

Tyne shadowed a group of Russian warships including corvette Vasily Bykov, a Kilo-class submarine and her accompanying support vessel, an ocean-going tug.

She was assisted by Portuguese frigate NRP Corte Real from Nato’s Standing Maritime Group 1, which ensured constant surveillance of the Russian units as they moved through UK waters.

The Royal Navy has kept a close eye on Russian ships in UK waters after an intelligence vessel and tanker took shelter in the Moray Firth.

It's the third time in a month @hms_tyne has monitored Russian vessels in and around home waters. https://t.co/RDgR9cinCHpic.twitter.com/vWIlAU5NkQ

— Royal Navy (@RoyalNavy) November 10, 2020

Having handed over monitoring duties to the UK’s allies, Tyne headed south to observe another Russian unit, the Smolny, a cadet training ship, as it passed through UK waters.

In addition to monitoring duties, Tyne has also conducted her regular duties safeguarding the UK’s fishing stock by checking hauls of vessels encountered off the east coast of the UK.

Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton, Tyne’s commanding officer, said: “Tyne has once again shown the adaptability of the Royal Navy’s offshore patrol vessels and their crews.

“We have quickly changed tasks from monitoring foreign warships to conducting boarding operations to protect our fisheries.

“I am proud of the hard work from the ship’s company that has made this possible.”

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