THE Royal Navy has deployed nine vessels to shadow a fleet of Russian warships in the English Channel and North Sea.
The decision comes just weeks after Putin sent bombers towards UK airspace. The Navy completed the concentrated operation after recording unusually high levels of activity in waters around the UK.
Type 23 frigates HMS Kent, HMS Sutherland, HMS Argyll and HMS Richmond joined Offshore Patrol Vessels HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey.
These were also accompanied by RFA Tideforce, RFA Tidespring and HMS Echo for the large-scale operation with support from NATO allies.
Lieutenant Nick Ward, HMS Tyne’s Executive Officer, said: “As the Armed Forces are helping the NHS save lives in the UK, it’s essential the Navy continues to deliver the tasks we have always performed to help keep Britain safe.
“This is very much part of routine business for HMS Tyne and represents one of the many roles our patrol vessels perform in support of the Royal Navy’s commitments.
“This is our core business and represents an enduring commitment to uphold the security of the UK.”