Navy Monitors Russian Ships Off Scottish Coast

The Russian intelligence-gathering vessel and her supporting tanker were sailing around the Moray Firth. 

Two Russian ships operating off the east coast of Scotland have been closely watched by the Royal Navy.

Intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov and her supporting tanker Sergey Osipov was sailing around the Moray Firth, near RAF Lossiemouth – where the RAF's four P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft are based. 

Portsmouth-based patrol ship HMS Tyne was monitoring the Russian ships under Defence Task One, protecting the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.

They were observed sheltering from Storm Aiden and carrying out replenishment operations.

Tyne's operations officer, Lieutenant Justin Shirtcliff, said they "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," he added.

Intelligence ship Viktor Leonov (left) and tanker Sergey Osipov seen from HMS Tyne (Picture: Royal Navy).

It is the third time in a month that the patrol ship has shadowed foreign warships in home waters.

In conjunction with NATO allies, Tyne shadowed a group of Russian warships including corvette Vasily Bykov, a Kilo-class submarine and their accompanying support vessel, an ocean-going tug.

HMS Tyne also observed the Smolny, a Russian cadet training ship, as it transited through UK waters.

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

Cover image: The Russian ship Viktor Leonov (left) and support tanker Sergey Osipov (Picture: Royal Navy).