Royal Navy drops spout buoys in Mediterranean to find Kremlin craft tracking British flagship
Britain’s largest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was chased by a Russian submarine in waters of the eastern Mediterranean, it emerged.
In response to the hunt for the Royal Navy ship and its carrier strike group, two Merlin Mk2 helicopters were deployed to search for the Russian submarine.
The plane dropped sonobuoys into the water to search for the hiding ship by detecting its sounds underwater, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The Russian ship – believed to be a Black Sea Fleet Kilo-class diesel attack submarine – reportedly tracked down HMS Queen Elizabeth and her strike group as it sailed off Cyprus last month.
His strike group consists of two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates and two support ships.
Britain’s largest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was chased by a Russian submarine in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean, it appeared
In response to the hunt for the Royal Navy ship and its carrier strike group, two Merlin Mk2 helicopters were deployed to search for the Russian submarine. Pictured: A Merlin helicopter lands on HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth in May
Merlin helicopters dropped sonic buoys into the water to search for the hiding ship by detecting its sounds underwater
The cat and mouse chase is said to have taken place on June 27, just four days after HMS Defender became involved in clashes with Russian forces in the Black Sea.
The two Merlin Mk2 aircraft, hailed as “the most powerful fighter helicopter in the world” by the Royal Navy, were deployed from HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Navy RFA support ship Fort Victoria.
Former Royal Navy submariner Ryan Ramsey told The Telegraph: “Submarines are meant to go undetected – it keeps you from doing your job.
“Escaping in a submarine is really difficult when you face something as capable as Merlin helicopters. The UK has always been very effective in anti-submarine warfare using ships, submarines and air force.
“When I taught the Submarine Command course, Perisher, it was the Merlins that worried the student captains the most. I am sure the opposition is doing the same.
The Russian Navy is said to have diesel-electric submarines in the Mediterranean, near its naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.
The Russian ship – believed to be a Black Sea Fleet Kilo-class diesel attack submarine – reportedly tracked down HMS Queen Elizabeth and her strike group as it sailed off Cyprus last month. Pictured: File image of a Russian diesel-powered submarine
Russia has been waging a military campaign in Syria since September 2015, allowing the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to regain control of most of the country after a devastating civil war.
The incident, which is believed to have occurred on June 27, came just days after Russia launched extensive military maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea.
Military exercises included warships capable of carrying hypersonic missiles and several warships.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkob then warned Britain and the United States that Russia would defend its borders using “all possible means”, including military force, and accused both country to try to incite conflict in the Black Sea.
Moscow also warned in the UK, he would bomb British Navy ships in the Black Sea if what he called provocative actions by the British Navy were repeated off the coast of Russia annexed Crimea.
The Defense Ministry declined to say whether the incident had occurred, but told the publication there were “strong measures” to protect the carrier strike group.
The Ministry of Defense said: “We do not comment on operational issues of this type, but can confirm that robust measures are in place to protect HMS Queen Elizabeth and the ships of the UK Carrier Strike Group.”
Since the reported incident, HMS Queen Elizabeth has crossed the Suez Canal for the first time as she crosses from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea as part of her first deployment.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s largest aircraft carrier, first crossed the Suez Canal on its first deployment alongside its carrier strike group.
The £ 3 billion ship – affectionately dubbed ‘Big Lizzie’ – was pictured crossing Egypt’s strategic waterway on Tuesday alongside its carrier strike group which includes two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates and two support ships.
Among them are the HMS Defender and the Dutch frigate HNLMS Evertsen, two ships that have been involved in recent clashes with Russian forces in the Black Sea. The American destroyer USS The Sullivans is also present.
The journey takes the Elizabeth and her group of carriers into dangerous waters that have been the scene of clandestine fighting between Iran and its proxies and Western allied nations in recent years.
In April, an Iranian vessel suspected of being a spy ship was blown up by a limpet mine while anchored off the Red Sea coast in Yemen. In October 2019, an Iranian tanker was hit by two missiles while navigating the region.
The road will also take the Queen Elizabeth close to the only Chinese naval base abroad, located in Djibouti.