Russian Navy task group escorted through English Channel

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Navy ships from the UK and EU escorted a small fleet of Russian Navy ships as they passed through the English Channel over the weekend.

Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Mersey intercepted the intelligence ship Vasily Tatishchev, depot ship PM82 in company with a Russian tug and the frigate Severomorsk.

Mersey later handed over to Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke to escort the Severomorsk out of the UK area of interest.

The Russian group was later escorted by Royal Netherlands Navy ship HNLMS Tromp as it passed through the Dutch Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Lieutenant Commander George Storton, HMS Mersey’s commanding officer, said: “HMS Mersey was ready to respond within a matter of hours to this tasking.

“This is routine business for the Royal Navy, and HMS Mersey herself is well-versed in this role with this being the fourth such operation in the last two months.

A number of Russian Navy ships have been escorted through the Channel so far this year, with a Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine and an aircraft carrier catching the most attention.

Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its carrier strike group transited the English Channel en route home from Syria in January this year while the recently commissioned submarine Krasnodar passed through the Channel in May.


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