The UK Royal Navy’s HMS Northumberland shadowed the Russian missile destroyer Severomorsk as it passed through the English Channel on its way from the Atlantic Ocean, the British Ministry of Defence reports. The frigate, based in Devonport, was called upon to escort the Russian Udaloy-class ship after honing her submarine hunting skills off the coast of Britain. The ship is equipped with a Merlin helicopter, cutting-edge radar, and the new Sea Ceptor missile system.
The HMS Northumberland's Commanding Officer, Commander Ally Pollard, stated that the Royal Navy is “prepared at all times to respond to any foreign warships in the UK's area of interest”.
According to the Russian media, the Severomosrk crossed the English Channel on 9 May and had festivities there dedicated to the 74th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis.
The press service of the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet stated earlier in May that the Severomorsk was finishing its voyage in the Bay of Biscay and was bound to cross the English Channel and arrive in its home port at the Northern Fleet's main base in the Murmansk Region.
The warship started its long-distance voyage in July 2018 when it left Severomorsk. Since then, it has taken part in the Russian Navy Day parade near Saint Petersburg, fulfilled its task in the Mediterranean, and then ensured the security of civilian vessels in the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden. The ship also took part in Russian-Japanese anti-piracy naval exercises, aimed at increasing cooperation in the fight against piracy and terrorism, as well as Russian-Pakistani drills. After a mid-cruise overhaul in Sevastopol, the ship operated in the Mediterranean.
Earlier this spring a UK Royal Navy warship was sent to intercept Russia's advanced Admiral Gorshkov frigate, equipped with guided Kalibr missiles, which earlier conducted air defence drills off the coast of Scotland in the North Sea while en route to the Atlantic.