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British warship shadows Russian navy vessel in the English Channel | UK News

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A Royal Navy patrol ship has been dispatched to shadow a Russian vessel through the English Channel.

HMS Tyne set sail on Christmas Eve to keep watch on the Smolnyy Perekop as it passed close to UK territorial waters.

The Portsmouth-based ship remained at sea on Christmas Day to monitor the Russian vessel, the Royal Navy said.

Commander Jon Browett, HMS Tyne’s Commanding Officer, said: “Leaving our families at this time of year is especially difficult, but national security doesn’t stop for Christmas, and as one of the duty units over the festive period we had bags packed and were ready to go.

“We had members of the ship’s company returning at short notice from all over the country and, hard as it is for those left at home, we are committed to keeping Britain safe all year round.

“Our families understand our role and undoubtedly make a tangible contribution to national security through their continued support.

“The UK’s trade, economy and information networks depend on the sea, and this operation demonstrates the Royal Navy’s commitment to protecting our home waters at all times.”

HMS Tyne as it shadows the Smolnyy Perekov
Image:
The Smolnyy Perekop seen in the distance from the bridge of HMS Tyne

The Perekop is a Smolnyy-class ship built for the Russian navy in the 1970s. It is designated as a training ship with a compliment of 30 crew and 300 cadets and carries relatively basic armaments designed for self-defence and coastal patrol.

It is one of two such training vessels attached to the Russian Baltic fleet.

HMS Tyne is due to return to port on Boxing Day, but will remain on stand by for short notice deployment over the festive period.

More than 3,500 Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Royal Marines and Fleet Air Arm personnel are either on duty or at short notice to respond to events at home and abroad this Christmas.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “I am grateful for the efforts of the crew of HMS Tyne, who have sailed on Christmas Eve, helping to safeguard our seas.

“This is yet another clear example of the tireless efforts of our armed forces, as they continue their tireless efforts to defend our country and our interests across the world.”

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