HMS Defender shadowing the Russian naval task group (Picture: Royal Navy).
Royal Navy warship HMS Defender is shadowing a Russian naval task group along UK coastline.
The Type 45 destroyer was called upon to sail over the weekend and keep watch on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships as they passed close to UK territorial waters.
HMS Defender left Newcastle on Saturday to head north-east of Scotland to meet the Russian task group in time for them to pass by the British coastline on Tuesday.
The group comprises of the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, tug Nicolay Chiker, supply ship Elbrus and tanker Kama.
Commander Richard Hewitt, the Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, said: "The security of the seas around our coastline remains crucial to our national interests.
“Escorting the Admiral Gorshkov has demonstrated the Royal Navy’s enduring commitment to protecting our home waters and readiness to undertake such tasking whenever it’s required.”
As a fleet unit preparing to deploy on operations, HMS Defender is tasked with short notice tasks, including search and rescue duties and maritime security patrols.
HMS Defender is equipped with a Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron.
The warship will continue to escort the Russian naval task group this week as it passes through the English Channel.