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The Navy ship "RAYO" watches over and accompanies two Russian warships on their passage through the Mediterranean Sea

En la mar
October 13, 2023
  • The vessel is accompanying a Kilo II class submarine and the tug "Sergey Balk" as it passes through the Mediterranean Sea.

Since the afternoon of Wednesday 11 October, the maritime action vessel "Rayo" (P-42) has been tracking and monitoring two Russian warships transiting the western Mediterranean Sea, close to the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

These two units are a Kilo II class submarine and the naval tug "Sergey Balk". The escort began south of the Balearic Islands and will continue until it leaves Spanish waters.

The "Rayo" has been integrated into the Maritime Operational Command, under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS) since 1 October. Until the interception of the Russian units, its mission was that of Maritime Surveillance Operations, consisting of activities of verification and control of maritime traffic, supervision of fishing activity in the limits of the EEZ and protection of the most important maritime lines of communication in the area of interest.

P-42 "Rayo”

Is the second in the series of four maritime action ships under the Canary Islands Naval Command, based at the Las Palmas Arsenal, designed to carry out maritime security missions, protection of national maritime interests and control of areas of sovereignty and national interest, as well as missions in collaboration with State Security Forces and Corps at sea, such as operations against drug trafficking or terrorism. They also carry out maritime traffic control and protection missions; surveillance and control of fishing and the fight against maritime pollution.

The "Rayo" has a crew of 52 men and women and is commanded by a lieutenant commander.

Maritime Action Force

This Force integrated in the FLEET, is made up of the set of units whose main task is to prepare to protect international maritime interests and the control of maritime spaces of national sovereignty and interest, taking charge, with a comprehensive approach, of ensuring permanent cooperation with the various government bodies with competencies in the maritime sphere, which constitutes the Navy's contribution to the State's Action at Sea.

Maritime Operational Command


The Maritime Operational Command is the body within the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff, responsible, at his level, for planning, conducting and monitoring permanent surveillance and security operations in maritime areas of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest. It is under the command of the Admiral of Maritime Action and is based in Cartagena.

Permanent Surveillance and Deterrence Operations

The Permanent Operations of surveillance and deterrence are an effective tool for maintaining surveillance of sovereign responsibility, which allows for the early detection of threats and facilitates an immediate and viable response to a potential crisis.

The Land, Maritime, Aerospace and Cyberspace Operational Commands make up the Permanent Command structure. On a daily basis, some 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in standing operations, under the operational control of the Operations Command.