British warship hits Russian hunter-killer submarine in dramatic North Atlantic chase

Moscow’s fighter-killer, capable of carrying nuclear-armed torpedoes, grazed a sonar line towed by HMS Northumberland. It was possibly the first collision between Russian and British ships since the end of the Cold War

It was possibly the first collision between Russian and British ships since the end of the Cold War (file photo) (

Image: PA)

A British warship hit a Russian submarine during a dramatic chase in the North Atlantic, it became known last night.

Moscow’s fighter-killer – which can carry nuclear-armed torpedoes – grazed a sonar line towed by HMS Northumberland.

It was possibly the first collision between Russian and British ships since the end of the Cold War.

Tensions between London and Moscow escalated after the investigation into the Russian poison attack in Novichok in Salisbury.

The British Type 23 frigate had been sent in search of the Russian submarine about 200 miles north of Scotland.

It left out its hauled array sonar – a cable covered with hydrophones – to listen for noises coming from the submarine.

It was possibly the first collision between Russian and British ships since the end of the Cold War (file photo)
(

Image:

Royal Navy)

But the crew broke off their mission and returned to port for repairs after the drainpipe-thick cable was “pulled over the hull of the submarine”.

“It was badly chewed and unusable,” said a source The sun.

Former frigate captain, Commander Tom Sharpe, said, “The question is, was it on purpose or was it an accident?”

He wondered if it could have been a bad passport.

A Defense Department spokesman said: “In late 2020, a Russian submarine tracked by HMS Northumberland came into contact with its tow sonar.”

Both ships are said to have been damaged in the collision.

This comes when Liz Truss warned that Russia had “no justification at all” for its aggression against Ukraine, ahead of an “absolutely critical” week for Europe’s peace and security.

The foreign minister, who plans to visit Kiev later this month, told MPs that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “homemade” the “false story” of a security threat in the region to which the Kremlin is responding.

She insisted that any Russian military incursion into Ukraine was a “massive strategic mistake” and would generate “high costs”, including the prospect of “coordinated sanctions” to hit the country’s interests and economy.

Europe must also reduce its dependence on Russian gas, said the foreign minister.

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