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HMS Sutherland escorts Russian frigate through UK waters

HMS Sutherland
16 December 2016
For the second time in less than a fortnight, Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland has been monitoring a Russian warship as it sailed through UK waters.

Only days after keeping an eye on the destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as she passed through the Channel bound for Russia, Plymouth-based Sutherland sailed again from her home port.

Just hours later the British ship encountered the frigate Yaroslav Mudry at the entrance to the English Channel.

The Mudry is one of two Neustrashimy-class frigates in service with the Russian Navy, and has recently been operating in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean before sailing across to the Caribbean to visit Cuba and Trinidad.

Sutherland and her Merlin helicopter from 829 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall joined French and Dutch warships in following the Yaroslav Mudry, whose progress through the waters of northern Europe will continue to be monitored by ships from other NATO nations.

Commander Trish Kohn, Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland, said: “This is just one example of the many activities undertaken by the Royal Navy in safeguarding the United Kingdom’s waters."

This is just one example of the many activities undertaken by the Royal Navy in safeguarding the United Kingdom’s waters

Commander Trish Kohn, Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland

Cdr Kohn added, “My crew have been very busy this year, with the ship spending over 200 days at a high state of readiness in order to be prepared for a wide range of activities.

“While most people are preparing to enjoy time at home with families and loved ones, there will be a Royal Navy warship on duty over the Christmas period, as there is at all times throughout the year, ready to respond to a variety of threats.”

The 180 or so sailors aboard HMS Sutherland are just a small proportion of the men and women of the Naval Service on duty during December, as part of the Navy’s year-round commitment to monitoring British waters. Some 18 ships or submarines will be deployed or ready to deploy over Christmas, demanding the efforts and support of more than 3,700 personnel.

In addition to military tasks such as the current escort duties, the Fleet Ready Escort can be called upon at any time to carry out activities including prevention of arms trafficking and people smuggling, counter-terrorism, maritime search and rescue and support to UK Special Forces.

Sutherland is also a highly capable submarine hunter, fitted with the latest towed array sonar to find and track submarines that may attempt to enter UK or allied waters undetected.

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