Chaotic moment Royal Navy warship SMASHES into Russian 'hunter-killer' submarine as shocked crew frantically react

THIS is the shocking moment a stunned Royal Navy warship crew reacted to their vessel smashing into a Russian submarine.

HMS Northumberland hit a Russian "hunter-killer" submarine in the icy north Atlantic in "late 2020".

The collision, which is believed to be an accident, was caught on film by a Channel 5 TV crew, whilst they were shooting for the show Warship: Life At Sea, which airs on Mondays at 9pm.

In the video a crew member can be heard shouting "what the f*** have I just hit?"

The impact caused considerable damage to the sonar device and forced the British squad to abort their mission and return to base.

It is thought to be the first collision between Russian and Royal Navy vessels since the Cold War.

The Russian sub was lurking 200 miles north of Scotland when the Navy ship was scrambled to search for it.

It was feared that the Russians would try to cut undersea cables that are essential for internet and communication in the UK.

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The Navy's Type 23 frigate had deployed an array sonar – a cable covered in hydrophones – in an attempt to detect the foreign sub.

But in a "million-to-one chance event" the submarine crashed into the sonar cable being towed behind the British boat.

A Navy source said: "[The sonar device] was badly chewed up and unusable.

"The crew of the submarine would have sh*t themselves."

The source, speaking to The Sun, said the sub would also have been damaged in the crash.

The Royal Navy said it shadowed nine Russian warships around the UK in just two weeks in December 2020.

Tom Sharpe OBE, the former commanding officer of the Royal Navy HMS St Albans said: "The question is, was it deliberate or was it an accident?

"Ship and submarine detection is not an exact science. It could have been a close pass gone wrong."

Sharpe added: "The Russian threat to our undersea communications is real, on our doorstep and ever increasing."

An MOD spokesperson said: "In late 2020 a Russian submarine being tracked by HMS Northumberland came into contact with her towed array sonar.

"The Royal Navy regularly tracks foreign ships and submarines in order to ensure the defence of the United Kingdom."

Details of the crash have emerged as as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the free world must rise to meet the threats from Russia.

Meanwhile Moscow has amassed 100,000 troops with tanks and missiles on the border of Ukraine.

The Russian embassy in London declined to comment.

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