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Russian submarines spotted twice near Irish Sea - Bloomberg

Russian submarines spotted twice near Irish Sea - Bloomberg The submarine Novorossiysk (photo:

Russian attack submarines conducted missions twice around the Irish Sea since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. This unprecedented move by the Kremlin has prompted British military action to protect British and Irish waters, according to Bloomberg and information from three sources familiar with the matter.

Sources reported the first deployment of a Russian Kilo-class submarine near the Irish Sea, separating Ireland from Great Britain, about 18 months ago. The second incident occurred recently. According to sources familiar with the matter, the scale of submarine movements exceeded what British officials had previously seen.

Two sources indicated that US officials were aware of the submarine's movements. The Ministry of Defence of the UK stated that they do not comment on operations. A senior official in the US administration under President Joe Biden remarked that the US monitors Russian fleet activities. The White House press secretary declined to comment on the latest reports.

Kilo-class submarine

The Kilo-class submarine is a diesel-electric attack submarine capable of firing Kalibr cruise missiles, torpedoes, and sea mines.

Other incidents

The presence of Russian submarines in waters surrounding Great Britain and Western Ireland during the Ukraine war has been previously known, though it was not previously reported that they were moving towards the Irish Sea. In 2023, Irish media reported that a British helicopter and military ship chased off a Russian submarine near Cork harbor in southwestern Ireland.

Last month, the RAF reported spotting a Russian submarine near the shores of Scotland, which later headed towards Cuba.

Explanation of Russia's actions

Рozdeploying submarines around Great Britain and Ireland could be seen as Russia's attempt to identify potential vulnerabilities in Britain's and the Irish Sea's defenses, or as a way to intimidate Britain in response to its support for Ukraine, according to Bloomberg sources.

Navigating the Irish Sea would pose challenges for Russian submarines due to international law complexities regarding territorial waters, noted one source. Submarines are required to surface in territorial waters, and the varying depths of the Irish Sea would complicate movement for Russian vessels, he added.

In July 2022, the British fleet tracked Russian submarines moving in the North Sea along the coast of Norway.