The pilots need to be certified for carrier take-offs and landings at day and night before it takes up station in the Mediterranean.'A Royal Navy spokesman said the size of the Russian naval force was 'unusual' but that the Russian ships were 'behaving very well', including booking areas for flying and calling up coastguard stations.
We will be watching as part of our steadfast commitment to keep Britain safe.''They will continue to escort the Russian Task Group and provide a visible presence south through the North Sea and English Channel as the ships conduct their passage and carries out flying operations.' Type-45 destroyer HMS Duncan – the world's most advanced air-defence destroyer – sailed from Portsmouth last night to join frigate HMS Richmond, which has intercepted the Kuznetsov task group of eight ships In addition the RAF Quick Reaction Alert squadrons in RAF Lossiemouth in north east Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire have been ordered to remain on standby in case they need to intercept any Russian jets straying into UK air space.
A source told Mail Online: 'The Admiral Kuznetsov is currently conducting flight operations.
He said: 'Type-45 destroyer HMS Duncan – the world's most advanced air-defence destroyer – sailed from Portsmouth last night to join frigate HMS Richmond, which has intercepted the Kuznetsov task group of eight ships.
In a sign of the escalating tensions with Russia, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today warned Moscow: 'When these ships near our waters we will man-mark them every step of the way.
It's not every day that so many ships sail together off Norway.' A spokesman said: 'The group consists of the aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the Pyotr Velikiy battlecruiser, large anti-submarine ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and support vessels.' The Russian MOD claimed: 'Special focus will be made on safeguarding security of maritime traffic and other types of maritime economic activity of Russia and also on responding to the new kinds of modern threats such as piracy and international terrorism.' Former Soviet secret services boss Gennady Gudkov told Mail Online said: 'If anyone still does not understand which direction the situation in Russia is heading, I can tell you.
The country is being prepared for a military conflict.'Gudkov said Putin is working behind the scenes in readiness for conflict, adding: 'There are active renovations in bomb proof shelters, purchase of gas masks and defence kits for civilians, along with a massive mobilisation in many places.