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Royal Navy warships shadow Russian attack sub in English Channel

French allies were also involved in monitoring the submarine Krasnodar.

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The submarine was heading for the North Sea (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

The submarine was heading for the North Sea (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

The submarine was heading for the North Sea (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

A Russian attack submarine which passed through the English Channel during a surfaced journey from the Mediterranean has been shadowed by two Royal Navy warships.

The Kilo-class submarine, Krasnodar, was monitored by HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey during its voyage with its ocean-going tug Sergey Balk in support.

The Portsmouth-based navy ships took over the job of following the submarine from French light frigate FS Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet off the coast of Ushant Island in Brittany on Sunday.

A Navy spokesman said: “Portsmouth-based Tyne, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, picked up the Krasnodar at the south-western end of the English Channel after the French Navy tracked its journey through the Bay of Biscay.

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HMS Mersey was one of two Navy ships involved in the operation (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

HMS Mersey was one of two Navy ships involved in the operation (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

PA

HMS Mersey was one of two Navy ships involved in the operation (Royal Navy/MoD/PA)

“After sailing the Channel, sister ship HMS Mersey took over duties as the Russians headed through the Strait of Dover and into the North Sea on Monday.”

Lieutenant Justin Shirtcliff, HMS Tyne’s operations officer, said: “Tyne responded in a co-ordinated effort with allies to shadow the Russian submarine and her escort while transiting the English Channel.

“This routine undertaking is an enduring task for the Royal Navy, in which Tyne and her sister ships of the Royal Navy’s Overseas Patrol Squadron play a key role.”

Lieutenant Commander Will Edwards-Bannon, HMS Mersey’s commanding officer, said: “It has been impressive to see, first-hand, the seamless co-ordination between allied ships and aircraft from various nations involved in this operation.

“I am very proud of the disciplined way in which my ship’s company has responded to the challenge of maintaining our readiness for operations through the challenges of Covid-19 which, along with the support we receive from our families, has enabled Mersey to once again successfully play our part in protecting our nation’s interests.”

PA