HMS Trent sailed through the Dardanelles and Bosporus on Sunday amid high tension over the Kremlin’s intentions in eastern
Despite planning to track the Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel’s every move, it posed ‘no serious threat’ to the Russians according to former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov.
‘I would not even say that the British [navy] would be able to tickle our nerves,’ he told Interfax. ‘Maybe, only the heel, a little.’
Russia is ‘constantly tracking’ the HMS Trent while it is on patrol in the Black Sea, the defence ministry in Moscow has announced. HMS Trent sailed through the Dardanelles and Bosporus on Sunday amid high tension over the Kremlin’s intentions over eastern Ukraine
The HMS Trent sailed into to the Black Sea on Sunday amid heightened tensions with Russia
The HMS Trent (pictured) was picked up by the Russian navy as it left the Bosporous and entered the Black Sea on Sunday
Former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov has claimed the Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel poses ‘no serious threat’ to the Russians, despite plans to track the frigate’s every move.
Komoyedov said the vessel would be constantly monitored by Russian naval vessels, such as this missile cruiser ‘Moskva’, while it patrols the Black Sea
Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Trent
1 × 30 mm DS30B gun
2 × General purpose machine guns
2 × Miniguns
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km)
Speed: 25 knots
Size: 90.5 metres
Despite mocking the British arrival, he said the vessel would be constantly monitored in the Black Sea where it can remain for up to 21 days under international agreements.
‘If a serious ship enters the Black Sea, and there is an immediate threat, then you can track it with weapons, as target designations are issued to coastal missile systems and aircraft, which are on duty,’ said Komoyedov.
The British warship is sailing to Odessa where it will work with NATO and regional partners to support security and stability in the region as part of the UK’s Forward Presence programme.
The warship was permanently deployed to southern Europe and Africa in August and has so far visited Algeria, trained with Tunisian forces, and carried out work with NATO.
The Russian National Defence Control Centre confirmed it was tracking the Royal Navy vessel.
‘The forces of the Black Sea Fleet have started tracking the movements of the British Navy patrol ship HMS Trent, which entered the Black Sea on 16 May 2021,’ it said in a statement.
Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of the Russian naval staff, said the Trent would be ‘met’ near the Bosporus Strait and monitored using ‘radio equipment’, according to Interfax.
‘Ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are constantly nearby until foreign naval ships leave the area,’ said the news agency report citing Kravchencko.
‘Of course, this is unpleasant. You will have to be distracted, keep an eye on them; what are they going to do in the Black Sea,’ said Kravchenko.
The HMS Trent (pictured) made its way through the Dardanelles and the Bosporous on route to the Black Sea on Sunday
The British vessel (pictured transiting the Bosporous on Sunday) will now patrol the Black Sea where it can remain for up to 21 days under international agreements
The Russian National Defence Control Centre confirmed it was tracking the Royal Navy vessel (pictured transiting the Bosporous) from the moment it arrived in the Black Sea on Sunday
The HMS Trent, seen here in the Dardanelles and Bosporous Strait on Sunday, was commissioned in August and is permanently stations in Gibraltar
The Russian National Defence Control Centre confirmed it was tracking the Royal Navy vessel (pictured, Admiral Essen, a Russian frigate, on duty in the Black Sea)
Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of the Russian naval staff, said the Trent would be ‘met’ near the Bosporus Strait and monitored using ‘radio equipment’
Kravchencko said ‘ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are constantly nearby until foreign naval ships leave the area’
The former chief of the Russian naval staff said the Black Sea Fleet, which includes submarines, would ‘keep an eye’ on the HMS Trent during its patrol
In recent days, the Russians also said they were tracking French Navy patrol vessel Commandant Birot (pictured, Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich)
Last month there were reports Britain would send a Type 45 destroyer and a Type 23 frigate to the Black Sea in May.
IRAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters would stand ready on the Mediterranean task group’s flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to the reports.
The Gibraltar-based HMS Trent’s arrival follows the US Coast Guard patrol ship Hamilton in the Black Sea.
The vessel’s arrival precedes the deployment of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which departs for its first operational deployment later this month.
The £3billion warship, with eight RAF F35B stealth fighter jets on board, will set off for Asia on May 24 accompanied by six Royal Navy ships including HMS Defender and HMS Diamond, a submarine, 14 naval helicopters and a company of Royal Marines.
Prior to leaving the UK, the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) led by ‘Big Lizzie’ will take part in a major exercise, Strike Warrior, off the coast of Scotland before departing for the Mediterranean.
Part of the CSG will then head to the Black Sea to support Nato maritime security operations at a time when tensions are rising tensions in Russia and Ukraine.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will not sail into the Black Sea because it would breach an international treaty.
HMS Queen Elizabeth departs for its first operational deployment on May 24 and will attempt to stand up to Russia and China
This is the route the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will take from next month, reaching Japan this summer after travelling via a number of hotspots that will upset Russia and China
Big Lizzie – the Royal Navy’s largest ever warship – will take part in a major exercise, Strike Warrior, off the coast of Scotland before departing for the Mediterranean later this month
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet comprises 25,000 personnel, up to 43 surface warships and a further 7 support and auxiliary submarines.
The fleet includes one guided missile carrier and three guided missile frigates.
It also comprises seven diesel attack submarines, one torpedo retriever, and seven large landing ships.
Two more Russian warships and 15 smaller vessels were transited to the Black Sea in mid-April amid rising tensions with Ukraine.
The pair are capable of carrying tanks, and of delivering armour and troops during coastal assaults.
The fleet is headquartered in Svestapol, the Crimean Peninsula, and has bases in Rostov Oblast and Krasnodar Krai.
In recent days, the Russians also said they were tracking French Navy patrol vessel Commandant Birot. Over three days the Russian military said its fighter jets were scrambled to shadow French Air Force aircraft over the Black Sea.
Last month, Russia massed troops on the Ukrainian border and carried out huge military drills in Crimea involving 10,000 soldiers, 40 warships and 200 planes. Russia has since pulled back some troops.
However, there is still concern in the West over Vladimir Putin’s intentions in Ukraine and considerable forces and equipment remain in the area.
The Kerch strait between the Black Sea and the Avoz Sea and an area of coastline on the Crimean Peninsula remain closed to foreign warships after they were shuttered amid heightened tensions last month.
Vladimir Putin escalated fears of a possible Russian invasion by ordering the blockade of the strategically important Kerch Strait in mid-April.
Russian warships moved into position to control the strait on April 16, cutting off sea access to Ukraine’s south-eastern coastline and eastern Crimea.
The Kremlin confirmed all foreign and Ukrainian military vessels will be forbidden to sail from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov until mid-October, although commercial vessels will not be affected.
Russia released a video demonstrating a show of strength, including the guided missile carrier ‘Moskva’ to coincide with Black Sea Fleet day on May 13.
Russia carried out huge military drills in Crimea involving 10,000 soldiers, 40 warships and 200 planes last month, sparking fears of a conflict
On 13 May, Russia released a video demonstrating a show of strength coincide with Black Sea Fleet day
The video included footage of the Black Sea Fleet’s guided missile carrier ‘Moskva’ firing a missile
The Russian naval footage from Black Sea Fleet Day on May 13, included manoeuvres by several warships
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