In the North Atlantic, a Russian submarine collides with a British warship.


In the North Atlantic, a Russian submarine collides with a Royal Navy battleship.

During a cat-and-mouse game in the North Atlantic, a Russian submarine collided with a British warship’s sonar device, according to reports.

As the HMS Northumberland collides with its towed array sonar, crew members onboard shout “what the hell was that”, “s***”, and “what the f*** have I just hit.”

It’s thought to be the first time such an incident has been recorded and made public.

Hundreds of microphones were attached to a cable that trailed behind the Type-23 frigate for towed array sonar.

The technology, which is hundreds of meters away from the ship, is designed to detect and track quiet submarines.

In late 2020, the HMS Northumberland embarked on a 48-hour search for the Russian submarine after fears that it might try to break into undersea cables vital to communication and the internet.

The crew launched a Merlin helicopter to try to locate the vessel for Channel 5’s series Warship: Life At Sea, which documented the mission.

The video captures the moment they notice what appears to be a Russian submarine above the water’s surface.

“We are very close to the submarine – we are probably parallel,” Commander Thom Hobbs, the warship’s captain, says at one point.

We would definitely see faces if they were on the surface.”

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Shortly after, the Russian submarine makes an “aggressive move” and collides with the towed array sonar, which is about the size of a fist, according to those onboard.

The ship had to return to port and the sonar had to be replaced because the sonar, which had been recovered in its entirety, had been severely damaged.

The cost of the equipment is estimated to be around £20 million.

“A Russian submarine being tracked by HMS Northumberland came into contact with her towed array sonar in late 2020,” the Ministry of Defence confirmed the incident.


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