BREAKING: Royal Navy warship HMS Forth scrambled to Russian vessel in English Channel

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HMS Forth met Russian patrol boat Vasily Bykov as she neared UK waters after being dispatched on Sunday.

It comes one week after HMS Forth was officially welcomed to the Royal Navy fleet having completed her sea trials for the first time.

Forth located the vessel and escorted her as she sailed through the English Channel.

The vessel was supported by Royal Navy aircraft from Culdrose-based 824 Naval Air Squadron and Yeovilton-based 815 Naval Air Squadron.

Russia vessels regularly pass through the English Channel without incident and are met by the Royal Navy.

(Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

“This is normal business for the Royal Navy”

Lieutenant Samuel Fields

Lieutenant Samuel Fields, the ship’s executive officer, said: “As a brand new addition to the Royal Navy’s operational fleet, this was an ideal tasking for HMS Forth to display the versatility and capability of our ship.

“This is normal business for the Royal Navy, being prepared at all times to respond to any vessels in the UK’s area of interest.

“HMS Forth is one of the Royal Navy’s ships kept at very high readiness to protect the integrity of UK waters.

“The Royal Navy has an enduring commitment to protecting our home waters and is on duty 365 days a year to ensure this commitment is met.”

(Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

(Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

HMS Forth is the newest ship in the Royal Navy and is the first of the new River-class patrol.

She is to be followed by her sister vessels, Medway, Trent, Tamar and Spey.

The £348million ships weigh 2,200 tons and are armed with a 20mm cannon, numerous machine guns and can carry a Merlin helicopter.

After patrols around the UK, Forth is due to be sent to the Falklands at the end of this year to replace HMS Clyde as the islands’ permanent naval guardian.

(Pic: ROYAL NAVY)

HMS Forth’s sisters will be operated from ports around the world to provide Royal Navy presence in regions such as the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Far East.

The warships – crewed by 60 sailors – have a range of 5,500 miles and can sail at speeds of 25 knots.

Russia’s ship Vasily Bykov is also a new vessel, being commissioned in December – the first of the new Project 22160 corvettes ordered by Vladimir Putin.

She is armed with machine guns, missile systems and grenade launchers, and reportedly carries drones and unmanned submarines.

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