A THIRD Australian warship has been dispatched to intercept a Russian flotilla steaming towards the G20 summit in Brisbane, according to reports.
The replenishment ship HMAS Sirius is heading into the Coral Sea to support the frigates HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Stuart and the frigate HMAS Sydney is preparing to divert from an exercise in New Zealand to join the mission, according to a government source.
Both Parramatta and Stuart are understood to be carrying Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters, although defence sources said it was unlikely that a Russian submarine is in the area.
News Corp Australia reported that the government also asked the Navy about the possibility of a Collins Class submarine joining the mission but was told that the nearest boat was in Perth and would not be able to reach the area until well after the G20 summit was over.
Three RAAF AP-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, also equipped for anti-submarine warfare, have been sent to Amberley near Brisbane and are maintaining a 24/7 patrol above the flotilla, News reported.
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