The Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond (D34) shadowed two Russian warships overnight as they passed through the English Channel.
The Portsmouth-based ship sailed from Dover to monitor the Russian destroyer Severomorsk and cruiser Marshal Ustinov as they passed through the UK’s area of interest yesterday (Tuesday).
HMS Diamond has spent the last month undertaking various duties around the UK as one of the Royal Navy’s high readiness escort ships. She is at 24 hours’ notice to react to any incident or tasking in or around British waters.
“HMS Diamond is proud to once again be playing her part in protecting the UK by monitoring these vessels on their transit. This is routine business for the Royal Navy and the second time my ship’s company have undertaken such an escort duty this summer”, said Commander Ben Keith, the Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond. “While many families are enjoying their summer holidays, my ship’s company are working hard at sea to keep Britain safe and will continue to do so for as long as we are required. I would like to thank the families of my crew whose support is vital while we carry out our duty to the nation.”
The Udaloy-class destroyer Severomorsk and Slava-class cruiser Marshal Ustinov have just finished taking part in the Russian Navy Days event in the Baltic port of St Petersburg and are now deploying out of the area.
Overnight HMS Diamond has maintained watch in UK waters, monitoring the Russian warships as they approach the UK coast. As the ships entered the busy shipping lanes between Norfolk and continental Europe, Diamond manoeuvred into formation alongside them and made them aware of her presence. The ships were then escorted towards the Dover strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
HMS Diamond continues to monitor the ships, remaining with them as they transit past Dover and along the south coast of England, after which they are expected to continue south, exiting the UK area of interest.