Spain has taken the unusual step of deciding to follow a Royal Navy submarine as it left Gibraltar before heading off on an undisclosed mission.
HMS Talent left its mooring last Friday afternoon (14th) and quietly headed out to sea only to find that she was being followed by a Spanish patrol vessel in a move that is largely unheard of between NATO allies, other than when such maneuvers are agreed in advance between countries.
Whilst submarines leaving and entering Gibraltar is nothing new, the fact that the Spanish vessel decided to shadow the RN submarine is virtually unheard of.
A Royal Navy patrol boat was sent to the area in order to make sure that the spanish vessel kept it’s distance from the submarine as it headed out to deeper water.
Many will see this bizarre encounter as an attempt by the Spanish to flex their muscles over the disputed overseas british territory.
The RN patrol vessels of the Gibraltar Squadron are frequently sent to intercept Spanish naval vessels which have manoeuvred too close to the British territory.
HMS Talent is the sixth of seven Trafalgar-class submarines (SSN) of the Royal Navy, and was built at Barrow-in-Furness.
Talent was launched by The Princess Royal in April 1988 and commissioned in May 1990.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain’s south coast.
It’s dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high limestone ridge.
First settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain, the outpost was ceded to the British in 1713.
Speaking of the incident, a source told The Sun:
“Its outrageous behaviour yet again from Spain.
“Their boat was landside and shouldn’t have been there. It only pulled off once the Royal Navy boat came towards it.”
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