#Submarines – A Dutch Navy submarine which Afloat.ie covered in departing Cork Harbour on Monday is a ‘Walrus’ class submarine, one in which was driven away two days later by Russian warships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
A Russian defence ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov said two Russian navy destroyers spotted the Walrus-class submarine on Wednesday while it was 11 nautical miles away from the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and its escorting ships, reports the Associated Press.
The destroyers had tracked the submarine for more than an hour, using anti-submarine helicopters, before forcing it to leave the area, he said. The spokesman added that such “clumsy” attempts to manoeuvre close to the Russian squadron could have resulted in an accident. For more on this story published in The Irish Times, click here.
As previously reported at the ‘Our Maritime Heritage Conference’ held in Belfast last month, Afloat.ie first learnt the Royal Navy’s HMS Duncan was forced to abandon a scheduled visit to the city. Instead the Type 45 destroyer, part of a NATO quartet diverted to the English Channel to ‘shadow’ an eight-strong Russian Navy flotilla notably led by flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov bound for Syria.
The giant 58,000 tonne and powerful Admiral Kuznetsov, the Russian Federation’s sole aircraft carrier was accompanied by nuclear-powered Peter the Great, a missile cruiser.
It was only last weekend that HMS Duncan, one of the Royal Navy’s most modern and powerful destroyers which is affiliated with Belfast finally called to the city along with frigates from Germany, Spain and Portugal. The call followed reports that Russian submarines in the Irish Sea in recent weeks were tracked by the Royal Navy.
As previously highlighted by Afloat’s WM Nixon, the naval presence of Admiral Kuznetsov which drew much attention as the aircraft carrier belched black smoke while passing the famous White Cliffs of Dover. The aging carrier constructed between 1982 and 1992 has always been regarded as a bit of a jinxed ship with such a history of engine breakdown that she never goes anywhere without her own personal tugboat in attendance, just to be sure to be sure.
According to Ships Monthly's September issue, it would seem Admiral Kuznetsov will finally receive more detailed attention to her troublesome engines as the giant aircraft carrier is scheduled to have a major refit in 2017. The ageing aircraft carrier has not been extensively modernised since entering service more than a quarter century ago.
Next year’s refit is primarily to focus on upgrading the flight deck equipment so to improve the launch and recovery rate of aircraft. The aircraft currently deployed in the naval deployment mission to Syria involve a combination of composite air wing fighter craft as well as helicopters.