BRITAIN’S Royal Navy did not warn Spanish maritime authorities about an exercise conducted off Gibraltar using live fire, according to Spain’s military.
Spanish military sources said there was no risk of damage or injury when its Audaz vessel approached HMS Sabre about five kilometres out to sea from the British enclave.
The same sources said they felt uncomfortable about Britain not informing them of the live fire exercise.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the ship was asserting its right to conduct training exercises in international waters.
— Daniel Ferro (@Gibdan1) May 25, 2019
The manoeuvres were routine and undertaken at a safe distance and security protocols were followed at all times, the Ministry of Defence added.
Spanish military sources also dispute the claim the exercise was undertaken in international waters, claiming HMS Sabre was in Spanish waters at the time.
HMS Sabre is currently serving with the Royal Navy’s Gibraltar squadron. It has a crew of five and is armed with two general purpose machine guns.
The SPS Audaz has 50 crew members and is armed with artillery, cannons and machine guns.