PICTURES: Australian AP-3C Orions monitor Russian flotilla
November 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment
The Australian Defence Force has released images of a Russian Surface Task Group being monitored by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orions and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels while transiting through international waters in the Coral Sea to the north of Australia. The flotilla — which is comprised of RFS Varyag, a Slava class guided missile cruiser, RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov, a Udaloy class guided missile destroyer, and two support vessels, Boris Butoma and Fotiy Krylov — is interpreted to be a show of force by Russia during the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, amid tensions over Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists in Ukraine's war-torn East.
Three RAAF AP-3C Orions were deployed to RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane and conducted a 24/7 patrol over the Russian ships. RAN frigates HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Stuart, supported by the replenishment ship HMAS Sirius also maintained tight surveillance on the vessels, with periodic radio exchanges made between the ships of both navies. The Russian vessels left after the G20 Summit weekend without incident.
A RAAF AP-3C Orion overflies the RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov during a patrol over the Coral Sea. © Commonwealth of Australia
RAN frigate HMAS Parramatta shadows RFS Varyag and the auxiliary oil replenishment ship Boris Butoma. © Commonwealth of Australia
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