Russian task group escorted through English Channel

A Russian Navy task group is being escorted through the English Channel as they head towards the Mediterranean Sea.

The task group, composed of frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships, are escorted by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender and Dutch Navy offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Friesland.

HMS Defender left Newcastle on Saturday, March 2, to head north east of Scotland and meet the Russian task group in time for them to pass the UK coastline yesterday.

Available AIS data shows that the Russian ships and their NATO escorts recently crossed the Dover-Calais ferry route as they head south.

UK 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.”

Russian Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov is the lead ship of the Project 22350 frigates and was commissioned July 2018.

Photo: HMS Defender and frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the background. Photo: Royal Navy