The UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll has shadowed a Russian naval task group through the English Channel and North Sea.
The Plymouth-based frigate was called upon to sail on Sunday, July 14 and keep watch on the task group which included the frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it passed close to UK territorial waters. HMS Argyll met the task group of three ships at the top of the Bay of Biscay and shadowed the ships through the English Channel, Dover Strait, and North Sea.
The Royal Navy frigate has now detached from monitoring the task group and continues her duties in UK waters, remaining ready for short notice tasking as required.
Commander Andrew Ainsley, the Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, said: “This task highlights the utility of HMS Argyll which in the last ten months has deployed around the globe on operations.
“Keeping watch on UK waters is normal business for the Royal Navy, and we stand ever ready to move at short notice to help keep Britain safe.”
A Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose, was also dispatched to assist in monitoring the task force which included an ocean-going tug Elbrus and salvage tug Nikolay Chiker.
HMS Argyll’s 175 sailors have returned to operational duty following a nine-month deployment to the Asia Pacific region over the last year. Their deployment included exercises with the Japanese and US Navies in the Pacific as well as exercises with Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand in the South China Sea.
As a high-readiness unit, HMS Argyll may be called upon at any time to help prevent arms trafficking, people smuggling, conduct counter-terrorism operations, maritime search and rescue, or escort duties like those she has undertaken now. She is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and weapon systems and can operate the Wildcat maritime helicopter.