File photo of an RAF P-8A Poseidon which has tracked Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Picture: MOD).
RAF

RAF submarine hunter aircraft tracks Russian warships in the Mediterranean

The P-8A Poseidon had been taking part in a major NATO exercise when it was reassigned to locate the Russian warships.

File photo of an RAF P-8A Poseidon which has tracked Russian warships in the Mediterranean (Picture: MOD).

An RAF patrol aircraft has monitored the path of multiple Russian warships in the Mediterranean, amid the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The Boeing P-8A Poseidon, a maritime patrol aircraft designed for anti-submarine warfare, had been participating in a NATO exercise when it was reassigned to locate the Russian warships, the Royal Air Force said.

The group of Russian ships, which included Slava class guided missile cruisers and Udaloy class destroyers, were monitored by the aircraft "from a discreet distance", the RAF added.

Other NATO ships and aircraft were also deployed to locate and track the Russian vessels.

Squadron Leader Dave Higgins said: "We were able to use Poseidon, one of the most capable intelligence platforms in the world, to support our allies by getting in close and identifying those ships.

"As one of the only nations within NATO with this platform, our involvement enhances the ability of the Alliance to monitor Russian activity.”

"It was a great demonstration that a British sovereign maritime patrol capability is ready to assist allies and partners in combined operations.

"It was also important to show that we’re standing alongside our NATO partners and other nations, contributing to the security of the alliance."

The RAF's fleet of P-8A Poseidon aircraft is based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.

Nine aircraft make up the fleet, with the final jet touching down at the base in early January

The jets are equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine warfare and can also carry out surveillance and search and rescue missions.