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On Christmas Day HMS St Albans escorts a Russian warship

Admiral Gorshkov, 24 December 2017 – photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017©

The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate St Albans was called upon to sail on 23 December and keep watch on the new Russian warship Admiral Gorshkov as she passed close to UK territorial waters. HMS St Albans remained at sea on Christmas Day to monitor the Russian frigate, keeping track of its activity in areas of national interest. It was planned that the frigate would return to Portsmouth on 26 December and remain ready for very short notice tasking over the holiday period.

Russian ship Akademik Alexsandr Karpinsky photographed on 21 December – photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017©
Russian ship Admiral Vladimirsky photographed on 21 December – photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017©

The festive season saw an upsurge in Russian units transiting UK waters. HMS Tyne was also called upon to escort a different vessel, a Russian intelligencegathering ship, through the North Sea and the English Channel on Christmas Eve. A Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton, was then dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels.