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UK: Royal Navy sends Type 23 frigate to track Russian warships in North Sea.

| 2023

According to information published by The Sun on May 4, 2023, the Royal Navy has deployed a Type 23 frigate to track Russian warships that are operating in the North Sea, including five warships and two support vessels equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland. (Picture source: UK MoD)

As we reported on 3 May, several Russian Navy ships are currently in the North Sea and the Royal Navy has a history of monitoring Russian naval movements close to its territorial waters.


Tensions between the UK and Russia escalated in the 21st century, worsened by events such as the Litvinenko and Skripal poisonings and the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, relations collapsed entirely, with the UK imposing economic sanctions and Russia retaliating in kind. The UK has become a significant provider of financial and military support to Ukraine. 

Type 23 frigate

The Type 23 frigate is an anti-submarine warfare frigate with a displacement of 4,900 tons and a length of 133 meters. It is equipped with CODLAG propulsion, comprising four diesel generators and two electric motors delivering a speed of over 28 knots.

The frigate can travel up to 7,500 nautical miles at 15 knots and carries two Pacific 24 RIBs. It has a complement of 185, with accommodation for up to 205.

The electronic warfare and decoy systems on board the Type 23 frigate include the UAT Mod 1, Seagnat, Type 182 towed torpedo decoy, and Surface Ship Torpedo Defence.

The armament consists of a 32-cell Sea Ceptor GWS 35 Vertical Launching System (VLS) for 32 missiles, up to two quad Harpoon launchers, a BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun, two 30 mm guns, two miniguns, and four general-purpose machine guns. The frigate is also equipped with two twin 12.75-inch Sting Ray torpedo tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes.

The Type 23 frigate can carry one Wildcat HMA2 or Westland Merlin HM2 aircraft. The Wildcat HMA2 is armed with two anti-submarine torpedoes, while the Westland Merlin HM2 is armed with four anti-submarine torpedoes. The frigate has a flight deck and enclosed hangar.

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