HMS Westminster Escorts Russian Ships Through The Channel

HMS Westminster is escorting Russian warships through the English Channel and other UK areas of interest.

The Type 23 frigate was deployed over the weekend to keep watch on the two warships and their two supporting vessels.

She will stay with the two Steregushchiy-class frigates Soobrazitelny and Boiky and support vessels Paradoks and Kola as they head north.

Commander Simon Kelly, the Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said:

“HMS Westminster’s role as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires.

“While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster’s ship’s company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep Britain safe at all times.

“The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.”

HMS Westminster Escorts Russian Ships Through The Channel

It is believed the Russian ships are returning to the Baltic after operations in the Middle East.

HMS Westminster

HMS Westminster is a Type 23 frigate based in Portsmouth.

The Type 23, Duke-class vessels were designed to deal with the Soviet submarine threat but have since proven their versatility in warfighting, peacekeeping and maritime security operations.

An installation test firing of Sea Ceptor was carried out from HMS Westminster in November, with each of the Type 23 ships due to carry out installation test firings in due course.

The missile defence system will provide a powerful shield against airborne targets such as hostile combat jets and helicopters.

In March, HMS Westminster officially rejoined the fleet after undergoing a complete refit, taking her out of action for two years.

Despite being over two decades old, she now has one of the most up-to-date weapons and radar systems in the Royal Navy's fleet.