Nine Russian warships have been shadowed by the Royal Navy as they sailed in waters around Britain in the past two weeks.
Ships included a surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette and patrol ship, as well as their supporting tugs and supply vessels, which operate in the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the west coast of Scotland.
The incursions add to the already strained relations between Britain and Russia. They crashed after poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in 2018.
Russian ships have repeatedly sailed in or near British waters over the past few months and years, while President Vladimir Putin was accused in a bomb report in July of interfering in the 2014 Scottish referendum.
In September, the NATO Secretary General warned that Russia was risking a "new Cold War" if it tried to push its power base across the border.
Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow's behavior was an attempt to create a new "sphere of influence" that required a "response" from NATO.
Tony Radakin, Lord Admiral of the First Sea, said of the recent Russian incursions into waters around Britain: “This is why the Royal Navy is at sea every day protecting Britain and our interests.
& # 39; Despite the pressure from Covid, we remain short-term to respond to threats both in domestic waters and around the world.
"Despite the increase in Russian activity on the surface and underwater, we are always ready to respond."
The patrol ship HMS Severn was deployed in the English Channel and in the Dover Strait, where it was shadowing the Corvette Boikiy (picture at the back).
The Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland, based in Devonport, watched the movements of the Udaloy-class destroyer, Vice Admiral Kulakov
A seaman aboard HMS Severn monitors the Russian patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov (picture)
Nine Russian warships have been shadowed by the Royal Navy as they sailed in waters around Britain in the past two weeks. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely behind his Navy's decision to sail near Britain
The Russian warships have been spotted in the past two weeks
Outer Hebrides – The frigate HMS Northumberland watched the destroyer, Vice Admiral Kulakov, as she sailed off the west coast of Scotland.
The English Channel and the Dover Strait – The patrol ship HMS Severn was on duty and shadowed a surfaced submarine, the Stary Oskol.
She also shadowed the corvette Boikiy, the patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and auxiliary ships.
The channel – Severn was also on patrol when Vice Admiral Kulakov drove through.
Baie de Seinea – Severn was escorted by Allied French Navy ships and aircraft when Russian ships were sheltered from bad weather in the bay in northern France.
Celtic sea – Three Royal Navy warships – HMS Tyne, HMS Richmond, and HMS Kent – together escorted the same group of Russian ships operating at sea.
Putin has placed the strength of his navy at the center of modernizing his armed forces amid tensions with the West.
In July, he said the Navy would get 40 new ships, even if Russia struggles with financial problems made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
During the Royal Navy's defense operations for the past two weeks, the Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland in Devonport watched the movements of the Udaloy-class destroyer, Vice Admiral Kulakov, as it sailed northwest of the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland.
The patrol ship HMS Severn was deployed in the English Channel and the Dover Straits, where it shadowed a surfaced Kilo-class submarine, the Stary Oskol, the Corvette Boikiy, the patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov and auxiliary vessels.
Severn was also on patrol when Vice Admiral Kulakov sailed through the canal.
During part of the operation, the Russian ships sheltered from inclement weather in the Baie de Seine in northern France, where Severn was escorted by Allied French naval ships and aircraft.
Russian ships have repeatedly advanced near Great Britain in recent months and years, with ships having to be escorted across the English Channel. In July, a Russian land attack missile submarine was intercepted in the canal by two Royal Navy warships.
The Krasnodar submarine has been sighted on the Dover Straits near British waters.
It is feared that it has violated contractual rules that prohibit the route except for exceptional repair reasons.
Late last month, the RAF was forced to intercept two Russian anti-submarine aircraft over the North Sea as they passed the edge of British airspace.
The Typhoon express jets were tracked from RAF Lossiemouth to track down the Russian Tu-142 Bear F aircraft.
Russian military aircraft often turn off electronic devices that allow passenger jets and air traffic controllers to see them, which significantly disrupts international airspace.
Ships included a surfaced submarine, destroyer, corvette and patrol ship, as well as their supporting tugs and supply vessels, which operate in the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the west coast of Scotland
The Devonport-based frigate HMS Northumberland, Type 23, watched the movements of the Udaloy-class destroyer, Vice Admiral Kulakov (pictured), as it sailed northwest of the Outer Hebrides
The patrol ship HMS Severn was in action in the English Channel and in the Dover Strait, where it shadowed the Corvette Boikiy (picture)
The typhoons were part of the RAF's Quick Reaction Force, on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
An RAF Voyager based in Brize Norton was also jumbled up to provide fuel for the two fast jets when they shadowed the pair of Russian seaplanes.
1 × 32-cell Seewolf GWS.26 VLS canister for 32:
Sea Wolf (range 1-10 km) or Sea Ceptor missiles (1-25 + km)
2 × Quad harpoon throwers
2 × two 324 mm (12.75 in) Sting Ray torpedo tubes
1 × BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval cannon
2 × 30 mm DS30M Mk2 guns or 2 × 30 mm DS30B guns
2 × miniguns
4 × general purpose machine guns
Range: 7,500 nautical miles
Speed: 28 knots (32 miles per hour)
Size: (l) 436 feet
The RAF aircraft were also supported by other NATO aircraft.
A bomb report released in July found that Russia "tried to influence the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 but did not interfere with the Brexit vote".
MEPs and colleagues from the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) examined the threats Moscow poses to Britain.
Their belated report on Russia said that not enough had been done in Whitehall to determine what role Russia played in the June 2016 vote on Britain's remaining in the EU.
It has also been questioned whether Britain has gone far enough to contain the offshore wealth of Russian oligarchs and to impose harsh sanctions on those associated with Vladimir Putin.
The committee warned the UK that it had long "underestimated" the threat posed by the Kremlin, which means that the UK must now "catch up" because it is "clearly a target for Russian disinformation".
The report concluded that there was "credible" evidence that Russia attempted to influence the Scottish independence vote in 2014, but there was no official evidence of such activity in connection with the 2016 EU referendum.
Among the other findings of the report was that Russian oligarchs were welcomed "with open arms" in the UK and "recycled illicit finances through what has been called the" laundromat "London.
"Enablers" like lawyers and accountants effectively become "de facto agents of the Russian state".
It added that there is an urgent need to update the Official Secrets Act to prevent espionage amid concerns that security agencies have tied their hands.
Russia's cyber attack capability "coupled with its willingness to use it in malicious ways is a serious problem," which poses an "urgent threat to our national security," the report added.
Udaloy-class destroyer, the Vice Admiral Kulakov
The ship is a 7,570 ton ship that was put into service in 1982 and serves the Northern Fleet.
Measuring 535 feet in length with a 62-foot beam and 26-foot draft, she can reach speeds of 35 knots and range is up to 10,500 nautical miles.
The Udaloy class is designed for anti-submarine defense functions and has two 4 SS-N-14 anti-submarine / ship missiles.
She also has 4 vertical launchers for SA-N-9 surface-to-air missiles and two 1,100 mm (3.9 in) cannons.
Other weapons include a Gibka (3M47) ADMS station, four 30mm AK630 Gatling cannons, two 4,553mm torpedo tubes, ASW / ASuW type 53 torpedoes and RBU-6000 submarine rocket launchers.
Kilo-class submarine, the Stary Oskol
The Kilo class is a type of diesel-electric submarine that was built for the Soviet Navy.
These attack submarines are primarily intended for use against ships and submarines in relatively shallow waters.
They are not fast submarines and can reach speeds of 12 knots on the surface and 20 knots underwater.
The submarine has six torpedo tubes with a standard diameter of 533 millimeters and 18 torpedoes.
They were originally configured to carry target torpedoes and eighteen SS-N-15A Starfish anti-submarine missiles.
Their armament also includes 24 mines, four calibrating missiles against ships and eight 9K34 Strela-3 (SA-N-8 Gremlin) air defense missiles.
Patrol ship Vasiliy Bykov
The ships are primarily intended for tasks such as patrol, surveillance and protection.
She can reach speeds of up to 25 to 30 knots.
The armament of the class includes the calibr-NK cruise missile, the aerosol camouflage, two grenade launchers and two machine guns as well as a 76.2 mm multi-purpose cannon (AK-176).
Steregushchiy-class corvette Boikiy
The Steregushchiy class is the newest class of corvettes to be built by the Russian Navy.
It was launched on April 11, 2011 and is part of the Baltic fleet.
The full displacement and dimensions of the ship are large for a corvette and have been designated as a frigate by NATO.
Their armament includes a 100mm A-190 arsenal, four 330 mm torpedo tubes for package NK torpedo / submarine torpedoes and 14.5 mm MTPU machine guns.
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