British navy warship escorts Russian guided missile frigate in waters close to UK

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Britain’s Royal Navy said on Monday it was escorting a Russian guided missile frigate and tanker in waters close to the UK, shadowing the Russians through the English Channel on Sunday.

The British Royal Navy deployed the HMS Portland frigate to track the Russian Gorshkov-class guided missile frigate, Admiral Kasatonov, and support tanker, Akademik Pashin, according to a statement.

The British frigate shadowed the Russian through the English Channel as they headed towards the North Sea. The frigate with its specialist Merlin helicopter – both equipped with cutting-edge sonars, sensors and torpedoes for specialist operations – reported the movements of the Russian Vessels.

“The Royal Navy routinely responds to escort warships in our territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas to ensure compliance with maritime law and to deter malign activity,” the Royal Navy said in a statement.

It added: “Escorting the Russian task group alongside allied partners demonstrates the commitment of the Royal Navy and the NATO alliance to maintaining maritime security which is crucial to our national interests.”

Earlier in January, another Russian missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov and its support tanker were monitored as they sailed in the international waters of the North Sea close to the UK.

The British Type 23 frigates are armed with machine guns for both surface and airborne targets; long-range anti-ship missiles capable of striking targets more than 80 miles away; The 4.5in main gun which can fire up to two dozen high explosive shells, per minute, weighing more than 40kg at targets more than a dozen miles away; and the guided missile which protects the fleet against air attacks such as incoming missiles and aircraft, as well as take-out small surface targets - such as fast attack craft.

Meanwhile, the Russian Gorshkov-class guided missile frigates are “multi-purpose combat ships capable of effectively fighting enemy surface ships, aircraft and submarines and delivering strikes against ground and coastal installations from a range of over 1,500 km,” state news agency TASS reported earlier this year. It added that the frigates of this class carry the Kalibr-NK cruise missile system as their basic strike weapon. “These warships displace 4,500 tons and can accelerate to 29 knots. They are armed with Oniks and Kalibr missiles and Poliment-Redut air defense missile systems.”

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