Navy monitors Russian nuclear-powered vessels heading for North Sea

An overhead view of Admiral Kuznetsov.

An overhead view of Admiral Kuznetsov.

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The Royal Navy is preparing for Russia's flagship aircraft carrier and a fleet of vessels to enter the North Sea.

Norwegian surveillance teams picked up the nuclear-powered Admiral Kuznetzov and six other naval ships off coast on Monday en-route Syria.

Related article: Royal Navy intercepts Russian submarine in North Sea

The Admiral Kuznetzov is carrying fighter jets, reconnaissance and combat helicopters and cruise missiles which will be used to bolster Russia’s bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

It was reported earlier this month how RAF pilots had been ordered to soot down hostile Russian aircraft in the stricken Middle Eastern nation.

The fleet was shadowed by a Norwegian naval frigate as it passed through international waters.

The most likely route will take the fleet through the North Sea, Dover Strait and English Channel before heading south.

The Admiral Kuznetsov is escorted by the Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) battlecruiser, the Vice Admiral Kulakov destroyer, Severomorsk destroyers and several supply ships - all part of the Northern Fleet - the Russian defence ministry said.

Major Elisabeth Eikeland, a spokesperson for the Norwegian army, told the AFP news agency the “tone was good” with the Russian ships.

The Admiral Kuznetsov is escorted by the Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) battlecruiser, the Vice Admiral Kulakov destroyer, Severomorsk destroyers and several supply ships - all part of the Northern Fleet - the Russian defence ministry said.

A Royal Navy spokesman told The Independent that British forces and Nato “routinely monitor” foreign warships nearing territorial waters.