Nato forces and maritime patrol aircrafts have been sent to monitor the Admiral Kuznetsov warcraft and seven vessels, including a nuclear-powered cruiser, as it closes in on British waters. Britain no longer has its own surveillance planes due to cut-backs in funding. HMS Duncan and HMS Richmond are set to be deployed if the Russian ship, which is travelling to war-ravaged Aleppo, enters British waters next week.

A defence spokesman said: “It is significant. We will track them through our area of interest.” The exact route of the Russian warcraft is not known, as it could pass through either the North Sea and English Channel, the Irish Sea or around the West of Ireland. FULL REPORT