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Royal Navy HMS Forth shadowed Russian Navy Vasily Bykov through English Channel.

| 2019

UK Royal Navy warship HMS Forth had to shadow the Russian patrol vessel Vasily Bykov as it was going through the English Channel on June 27.

Royal Navy HMS Forth shadowed Russian Navy Vasily Bykov through English Channel HMS Forth (foreground) accompanying Russian Navy patrol vessel Vasily Bykov through the English Channel (Picture Source: Royal Navy)

HMS Forth sailed from Liverpool on Sunday having been activated to meet the Russian ship as she neared UK waters. Forth located the vessel before following her movements alongside Royal Navy aircraft from Culdrose-based 824 Naval Air Squadron and Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron.

Vasily Bykov is the lead ship of the Project 22160-class of large patrol ships being constructed for the Russian Navy. The Project 22160 class’s armament includes the Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, two DP-64/DP-65 barreled anti-saboteur grenade launchers and two 14.5 mm MTPU machine guns and a 76.2 mm AK-176MA automatic dual-purpose gun.

The ship also has a helicopter deck and hangar for one Ka-27 or a Ka-226 helicopter. The warship also carries a landing speedboat and can carry various drones, unmanned underwater and surface vehicles. The vessels are primarily intended for duties such as patrol, monitoring and protection.

The shadowing comes one week after HMS Forth was officially welcomed to the Royal Navy fleet having completed her operational sea training for the first time. Forth sailed at high speed and met the Russian patrol ship on Monday (24 Jun) afternoon off the coast of western France, ensuring the vessel would be monitored throughout her period of transit through the UK’s area of interest.

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