Royal Navy Shadows Russian Warships Through English Channel

The Royal Navy passed escort duties onto the Belgium Navy after the four Russian ships sailed through the Channel.

The Royal Navy has shadowed Russian warships through the English Channel.

The four-strong group of Russian vessels included the submarine-hunting destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, which was monitored by the Royal Navy as it sailed through the Dover Strait less than three weeks ago.

It was accompanied by corvette Vasily Bykov and two support vessels on its latest trip through the Channel.

Navy patrol ships HMS Tyne and HMS Severn intercepted the warships on the edge of the UK's area of responsibility and monitored them through to the North Sea.

The Navy said escort duties were then handed over to the Belgian Navy.

The monitoring mission came following a circumnavigation of the UK by HMS Tyne.

Corvette Vasily Bykov was also monitored by the Royal Navy as it sailed through the Channel (Picture: Royal Navy).

The ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richard Skelton, said: “We have quickly transitioned from Maritime Security Operations to internal navigation training and then to shadowing Russian warships – all of which is designed to ensure our nation’s security.

“This pace and level of activity is common for Tyne; during our last patrol the ship intercepted Russian warships soon after completing an exercise with our Irish counterparts.”

The Kulakov is based with the Russian Northern fleet on the Kola Peninsula, while the Royal Navy said the Bykov had sailed all the way from Crimea, the home of the Black Sea Fleet.

Cover image: Vice Admiral Kulakov sails through the English Channel (Picture: Royal Navy).