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York completes a week shadowing Russia’s biggest warship around the British Isles

Picture taken from HMS York of the Russian Warship Admiral Kuznetsov

22/12/2011

HMS York has returned to Portsmouth after spending the past week shadowing the activities of Russia’s biggest warship, the Admiral Kuznetsov, around the British Isles. The destroyer observed the movements of the carrier and her task group of half a dozen escorts and support vessels off Scotland and the west coast of Ireland, where the Kuznetsov conducted flying operations with her Su-33 Flanker jets.

As the Fleet Ready Escort, York has maintained a watch on the Russian task group, demonstrating clearly the Royal Navy's presence and conducting our routine business around what are our home waters,
Commander Rex Cox, HMS York’s Commanding Officer

Coming in to land on the deck of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is a Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker jet under the watchful eyes of a Russian Helix helicopter – and HMS York.

The Portsmouth-based destroyer has spent a week shadowing and observing Russia’s biggest warship and her task group as she made her way around the British Isles.

York was alerted as the Fleet Ready Escort – the on-call frigate or destroyer which responds to events at short notice – earlier this month and greeted the Kuznetsov task group, northeast of the Orkneys, on December 12.

It’s the first time the 55,000-tonne leviathan has deployed near UK waters in a number of years and she elected to take shelter from the winter weather in international waters off the Moray Firth for four days.

When the weather finally abated, the carrier group – the Kuznetsov plus one destroyer, a frigate, three tankers and an ocean-going tug – sailed around the top of Scotland and into the Atlantic past western Ireland, conducting flying operations when weather permitted with her Mach 2 Flankers and Helix helicopters in international airspace.

All the time the Kuznetsov, named after a wartime Soviet naval leader, has been under the gaze of HMS York.

York’s Commanding Officer, Cdr Rex Cox, said:

“As the Fleet Ready Escort, York has maintained a watch on the Russian task group, demonstrating clearly the Royal Navy's presence and conducting our routine business around what are our home waters.

“We are well-practised in this type of operation and are ready to position anywhere around the UK and provide appropriate presence when called upon.

“My ship’s company have put in a cracking effort in some pretty challenging weather conditions and are now looking forward to some well-deserved Christmas leave and time with their families.”

With the Russian task group continuing south and away from UK home waters, the Type 42 has returned home to Portsmouth.

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