Royal Navy Escorts Russian Gunboat Through Channel
HMS Forth Monitors Transit of Russian Vessel Vasily Bykov
Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Forth monitored the progress of a Russian naval vessel Vasily Bykov through the English Channel and Dover Strait, Wednesday, according to the Royal Navy.
HMS Forth had just returned to UK waters from her first foreign port visit when she was called upon to shadow the Russian patrol ship Vasily Bykov.
Forth had departed Gibraltar on July 31, before heading north at speed and conducting heavy weather trials before a quick logistics stop in Devonport.
She then sailed and positioned herself ready to meet the Vasily Bykov as the vessel sailed from the North Sea having taken part in Russia’s Navy Days celebration in St Petersburg.
HMS Forth’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Samuel Fields, said: “It has been a particularly busy time for HMS Forth as we generate for deployed operations and continue to test our ship’s capabilities. I am proud of the ship’s company for rising to this additional challenge.”
The Vasily Bykov is the first of the Project 22160 large patrol ship class constructed for the Russian Navy. The vessels are primarily intended for duties such as patrol, monitoring and protection in open and closed seas. The Vasily Bykov was laid down in February 2014 and by December 2016 five ships were under construction. the Vasily Bykov joined the Russian Navy in December 2018.
The Vasily Bykov’s armament includes the Kalibr-NK cruise missile, aerosol camouflage, two grenade launchers and two machineguns and a 76,2 mm dual-purpose gun. The ship also has a helicopter deck and hangar for one Ka-27 or a Ka-226 helicopter. Besides, the warship carries a landing speedboat. It can carry various drones, underwater unmanned craft and unmanned boats.
The Vasily Bykov was previously shadowed by HMS Forth through the UK’s area of interest only last month.
HMS Forth now continues to prepare for her upcoming deployment to the Falkland Islands later this year where she will replace HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel.
Until then, she remains one of the Royal Navy’s high-readiness units able to conduct maritime security operations in UK waters to help keep Britain safe.
HMS Forth may be called upon at any time to help prevent arms trafficking, people smuggling, conduct counter-terrorism operations, maritime search and rescue, or monitoring duties.
Source: Royal Navy
Image: Royal Navy HMS Forth monitors Russian vessel in English Channel (Crown Copyright, 2019).