Royal Navy Tracks Russian Frigate Through the English Channel

Admiral Grigorovich in choppy weather in the English Channel (Royal Navy)

Published Nov 9, 2023 4:07 PM by The Maritime Executive

This week, the Royal Navy followed a Russian warship through the English Channel in foul conditions, keeping contact while navigating the remnants of Storm Ciaran.

The warship HMS Richmond kept watch on the Russian Navy's Admiral Grigorovich, tracking the modern guided-missile frigate in the North Sea and keeping within range as it made a southbound transit. 

The Royal Navy frigate was in Stavanger for NATO exercises when she was diverted and tasked to monitor the Grigorovich.

Richmond and her 185 crewmembers met Grigorovich in the North Sea, then continued to shadow the Russian warship through the Dover Strait and down towards the Mediterranean. The weather during the operation was poor, with choppy surface conditions from Storm Ciaran.

“The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Close monitoring and shadowing of Russian warships in UK waters and adjacent sea areas encourages their compliance with maritime law and deters malign activity,” said HMS Richmond’s Commanding Officer Commander Chris L’Amie. “By maintaining a visible and persistent presence, the Royal Navy is demonstrating our steadfast commitment to the NATO alliance and maintaining maritime security."

Admiral Grigorovich is a familiar presence around the British Isles. She drew attention in May 2023 when she and three escorts were spotted off the coast of Ireland. Tracking showed the vessels lingering in areas where there are multiple subsea telecom cables, raising fears that they may have been involved in potential reconnaissance and sabotage-preparation efforts.