A group of Russian Navy ships
has been seen entering the Irish Sea in what is being considered an aggressive move. There are strong signals the ships will sail up and around the United Kingdom and this will move them close to the main submarine base of Faslane.
The group is led by the Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov and it is accompanied by the Udaloy class destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov and tanker Vyazma.
The exact positions of the Russian cruiser and destroyer
are currently not visible. But the tanker is reporting its position on automated identification system or AIS. It has passed the entrance of the English Channel and is sailing in the Irish Sea.
The HMS Lancaster, a Royal Navy Duke-class frigate, is shadowing the vessels.
The Marshal Ustinov departed from the Mediterranean Sea on August 24 and has slowly moved closer to the United Kingdom.
The Russian warships are assumed to be going back home after six months of being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to assist Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
When the warship was deployed there in January it prepared live firing exercises in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which stirred controversy at the time.
The exercises, which include the firing of missiles, raised concerns because of their closeness to underwater communications cables. Russia ultimately agreed to move the exercises farther into the Atlantic Ocean and out of the EEZ after the Irish government protested against it.
The Marshal Ustinov was one of the various ships included in planned naval exercises
off the coast of County Cork in Ireland last February, which was generally viewed as an incitement to the West in anticipation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Navy ships taking unusual route alarms Irish and British defense officials
Russia is allowed under international law to navigate through the Irish Sea as long as it stays outside Irish and U.K. territorial waters, which extend about 22 kilometers off each nation's coast.
Nevertheless, it is a very uncommon route for Russian Navy ships and the maneuvers are expected to cause concern among Irish and British defense officials given the strained international condition.
Previously it has been more common for Russian Navy ships journeying to their northern ports to take the travel east through the English Channel or western route around Ireland.
Another Russian ship was noticed acting strange off the Irish south coast in August.
The Akademik Pashin, a naval oil tanker, was seen leaving the English Channel on August 17 and suddenly sailing west along Ireland's south coast, moving within 140 kilometers at times.
Defense sources indicate it was likely assisting other Russian ships in the region.
The Marshal Ustinov is the sister ship of the Moskva, which was sunk by Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea in April. (Related: USA targeting of Moskva ship is Russia's "Pearl Harbor" ... RETALIATION is Putin's next move, and the USA just handed him all the domestic support he needs
But Marshal Ustinov is a more modernized ship with upgraded systems and weapons, and is a major component of the Russian Navy's northern fleet.
As a fully armed guided missile cruiser
, Marshal Ustinov is well equipped with 16 SS-N-12 Sandbox (P-1000 Vulcan) supersonic anti-ship missiles and 64 SA-N-6 Grumble (S-300F Fort) area air-defense missiles.
It is also armed with twin-mounted AK-130 130mm (5 in)/L70 dual-purpose guns, including six AK-630 30 mm (1.2 in) close-in weapons systems.
The route that the warships have taken on their homeward journey seems provocative, apparently sending a strong message to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members.
It also serves as a notice to Ireland, which is not a member of NATO. In a number of ways, Ireland can be considered a weak spot on Europe's western border.
At the moment, the warships appear to have taken a U-turn and are sailing southwest. Nevertheless, this is a fluid situation that people need to watch closely.
for more news about Russia's military posture in Europe.
Watch the video below
to know about the Russian Navy drills in the Baltic Sea.
This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com
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