Navy ushered Russian warship away from Moray Firth
A Russian naval destroyer was escorted out of UK waters by the Royal Navy after it was detected in the Moray Firth.
HMS Somerset was called to monitor the warship Vice Admiral Kulakov and a supporting tanker having been spotted off Scotland’s north east coast.
The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate had been trialling cutting-edge sonar equipment when called to locate and shadow the Russian units.
Having arrived in the Moray Firth on Saturday, the vessel escorted the ships through UK waters and north along the coast of Norway.
Commander Timothy Berry, HMS Somerset’s Commanding Officer, said: “As with all Royal Navy ships operating in UK waters, HMS Somerset was at a high state of alert to deal with any maritime security task such as this.
“Monitoring transits of non-NATO warships through UK territorial waters is part of what the Royal Navy does all year round to keep Britain safe.
“We now continue with our original tasking having seen the Russian ships safely through the UK’s area of interest.”
The Vice Admiral Kulakov is a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer and it is believed to have been returning from a deployment in the Mediterranean.
The warship was accompanied by a tanker, which is standard procedure for Russian ships.
It was not the Kulakov’s first visit to UK waters, as the destroyer was also shadowed by HMS Somerset from the same position in the Moray Firth in March last year.
Russian warships of the northern and Baltic fleets routinely pass through UK territorial waters en route to or from deployments in the Mediterranean and Gulf regions.