Royal Navy turns tables on Putin's subs stalking Brit aircraft carrier as helicopters scrambled to drive them away

THE ROYAL Navy has turned tables on Putin's submarines which were stalking a Brit aircraft carrier as helicopters scrambled to drive them away.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's largest aircraft carrier, was hunted by a Russian submarine in the waters of the Black Sea, it's understood.

After it became known that the Royal Navy vessel was being stalked, two Merlin Mk2 helicopters were deployed to search for the Russian submarine.

And the aircraft then dropped sonobuoys into the water in a bid to locate the stalking submarine underwater.

The hunt for the lurking vessel, which is said to have been stalking HMS Queen Elizabeth and its escort ships, took place four days after the confrontation between HMS Defender and Russian forces in the Black Sea, reports the Telegraph.

Russia previously launched a set of military manoeuvres in the Mediterranean – which featured hypersonic missiles in their artillery.

Along with the HMS Queen Elizabeth, two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates and two support vessels were also stalked as she sailed off the coast of Cyprus last month.

The ordeal is said to have happened on June 27 – but the Ministry of Defence has refused to confirm the details.

The MoD said: "We do not comment on operational matters of this kind, but can confirm that robust measures are in place to protect HMS Queen Elizabeth and the ships of the UK Carrier Strike Group."

Ryan Ramsey, a former Royal Navy submariner and commander of the world-renowned Perisher training course, told the Telegraph: "Submarines aim not to be detected – it stops you completing your tasks.

"Evasion in a submarine is really difficult when you’re going up against something as capable as Merlin helicopters. The UK has always been really effective at anti-submarine warfare using ships, submarines and aviation.


"When I was teaching the submarine command course, Perisher, it was the Merlins that the student captains worried about the most. I’m sure the opposition are doing the same thing."

The Russian Navy is believed to have diesel-electric submarines in the Mediterranean, which is close to their naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus.  

Moscow has warned the UK it will bomb British naval ships in the Black Sea if they were provoked by certain actions.

Since the ordeal in the Black Sea, HMS Queen Elizabeth was seen sailing through the Suez Canal along with her carrier strike group.

This comes just days after Russian fighter jets rehearsed bombing enemy ships in the Black Sea – days after threatening to sink a British destroyer sailing through the region.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said he could attack any vessel because the West knows "full well that they can't win in that war".

During a televised, hour-long Q&A, the Kremlin strongman said: "Even if we had sunk the British destroyer near Crimea it is unlikely that the world would have been on the verge of World War 3."

He added: "Those who are doing this know that they couldn't be the winners in this war.

"We are on our land. We're fighting for ourselves and our future."

Putin appears to have put his money where his mouth is by ordering his Black Sea Fleet to practice bombing drills next to NATO forces undertaking operation 'Sea Breeze' war games.

The Russian exercises included the Sukhoi Su-30SM multi-purpose fighters, Sukhoi Su-24M bombers, Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers and Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets, according the state-run news agency RIA.

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