UK’s show of force to Putin – photos show missiles being loaded onto Navy sub in Gibraltar

Gibraltar: British Royal Navy boat clashes with Spanish Customs

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The attack submarine is currently docked in Gibraltar, having arrived there on Saturday afternoon. It is one of the Royal Navy’s Astute-Class powered submarines, which are among the most sophisticated underwater vehicles ever constructed. The new submarines are gradually replacing those of the Trafalgar-Class, which have been in service for almost four decades.

HMS Audacious is equipped with powerful weapon systems, which include Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

In the new images published by the Fotografiks agency, a crane can be seen loading missiles onto the submarine.

The vessel is docked next to the USS Georgia, which arrived at the naval base last Wednesday.

The presence of two submarines side-by-side highlights Gibraltar’s increased role as a naval logistics base for the UK military and its allies.

It is highly unusual for two submarines to be in the naval base simultaneously.

The last time this happened was in 2019, when the USS Olympia and HMS Talent were docked at the port.

The arrival of the two subs has provoked protests from Spain and an environmental group.

The government in Madrid protested to the US over its decision to not send the USS Georgia to Rota in Spain, where the US has a permanent naval base.

Verdemar, a Spanish environmental group, was also unhappy about the arrival of the two nuclear vessels in Gibraltar.

The group said the presence of the two subs posed a risk to communities around the Bay of Gibraltar.

A spokesperson said: “These submarines are authentic floating bombs and put our families and our environment at risk.

“We do not accept submarine operations in the Mediterranean, we are committed to denouncing these entries in all the countries bordering the Mediterranean.”

HMS Audacious’ arrival in Gibraltar comes in the wake of increased tensions between London and Moscow.

Last week the Kremlin banned Boris Johnson and other senior ministers from entering Russia and accused the UK of fomenting anti-Russian hysteria.

In a statement, Moscow said: “In essence, the British leadership is deliberately aggravating the situation around Ukraine, pumping the Kyiv regime with lethal weapons and coordinating similar efforts on the part of Nato.”

On Monday, Russian state TV broadcast a video of two British soldiers captured fighting in Ukraine.

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The two Britons were identified as Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, and were interviewed by journalist Andrei Rudenko from the state controlled channel VGTRK.

The British fighters urged Mr Johnson to negotiate their release and asked to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian businessman close to President Vladimir Putin.

The 67-year-old was captured last week by Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, who said they had foiled a Russian attempt to smuggle him out of the country.

During the interview, the two Brits are shown a video published last week by Oksana Marchenko, Mr Medvedchuk’s wife, who demanded her husband’s exchange for the two Britons.

The haggard-looking fighters then asked to be exchanged for the businessman.

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