The Royal Navy has been shadowing a Russian ship believed to be carrying a state-of-the-art ‘vomit inducing’ weapon after it entered the Moray Firth.
Three Russian support vessels were spotted off the coast of Scotland on 4 March by observers using the Marine Traffic tracking app.
Included in the fleet of Russian vessels is the superpower’s new Admiral Gorshkov which is rumoured to have a ‘vomit weapon’ as well as tug Nicolay Chiker, supply ship Elbrus and tanker Kama.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Admiral Gorshkov and what type of ship is she?
Much like how the Royal Navy have the Fife-built HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Russian Navy have a brand new warship they are keen to show off.
Her full name is Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov and she officially entered service in July 2018.
The Soyuza Gorshkov is a frigate and is the lead ship in the Admiral Gorshkov-class – a new class of ships in the Russian naval fleet.
She was laid down in 2006 and was launched in October 2010.
Originally Admiral Gorshkobv was due to join the navy in 2013, however this was pushed back to November 2015 following construction delays.
An engine fire caused the ship to spend a full year in a quay, she eventually entered the Russian Navy on July 28, 2018 a day before making her debut in the Naval Day parade, which is a national holiday in the country.
Does Admiral Gorshkov have a ‘vomit weapon’ and how does it work?
The Russian navy have reportedly developed weapons that can make their enemies vomit and even hallucinate.
The Hill reported in February that contractors had installed the weapons on two warships including Admiral Gorshkov.
It is said that the weapon fires a beam similar to a strobe light which can affect the targets eyesight.
The weapon can make it harder for enemies to see at night and during tests about half of volunteers reported feeling dizzy, nauseous and disoriented.
While 20 per cent of the volunteers who were targeted by the weapon said that they experienced hallucinations.
The weapon is reportedly called the Filin and has also reportedly been installed on Admiral Gorshkov’s sister ship Admiral Kasatonov.
Where does she get her name?
Admiral Gorshkov is named after a former admiral in the Soveit fleet – Sergey Georgyevich Gorshkov.
Born in modern-day Ukraine in 1910, he served during the Second World War and oversaw the expansion of the Russian Navy during the Cold War.
Admiral Gorshkov was twice awarded Hero of the Soviet Union, which was the highest honour in the country. He died in 1988 before the fall of the Soviet Union.
What is Admiral Gorshkov-class?
Also known as Project 22350, the Admiral Gorshkov-class is a class of frigates in the Russian navy.
They are the successor of the Krivak class of ships, which were built in the 1970s.
Work began on the ships in the early 21st century and they were designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau, Saint Petersburg.
As well as the lead ship, Admiral Gorshkov, there are three other ships currently scheduled to form part of the class.
One, Admiral Kasatonov, is currently doing sea trials and is due to be commissioned this year. While two others – Admiral Golovko and Admiral Isakov – are currently under construction. Has Admiral Gorshkov sailed near UK before?
This is not the first time the Russian frigate has ventured close to British territorial waters.
During her sea trials Admiral Gorshkov sailed near UK waters in the North Sea between December 23 and December 25, 2017.
The Royal Navy sent HMS St Albans to shadow her during this incident.
Which Royal Navy warship is shadowing her now?
HMS Defender, a sophisticated Type 45 destroyer, is monitoring the Russian fleet this week. The navy has said that she is keeping track of their activity in areas of ‘national interest’.
HMS Defender left Newcastle on Saturday o head north east of Scotland and meet the Russian task group in time for them to pass the UK coastline.
Mark Lancaster, armed forces minister, said: ‘The Royal Navy is always standing ready to defend the UK.
‘We will continue to work with our allies to shadow Russian ships passing through international waters close to our shores, to ensure the Russian navy follows the correct protocol on its journey.’
This article first appeared on our sister site the Portsmouth News.