Canadian aircraft helping Britain hunt for Russian sub spotted near Scotland

The Russian Northern Fleet's Severodvinsk nuclear submarine pictured on Nov. 2014 during an exercise off Zapadnaya Litsa Base to test a new submarine escape vessel. (Lev Fedoseyev/TASS)

Canada has sent a maritime patrol aircraft to help the United Kingdom search for a Russian sub believed to be patrolling off the Scottish coast.

The Telegraph reports that Britain had to call in help from France and Canada after a Russian sub was spotted. The British government fears that the sub might be trying to spy on the UK’s Trident program — a sub-based nuclear warhead delivery system stationed in Scotland.

A French Atlantique 2 maritime patrol plane had been searching an area north of Scotland for more than a week along with a British frigate, the HMS Sutherland, and an attack class submarine, according to the report. A second French plane and a Canadian plane joined in the hunt for the sub over the weekend.

READ MORE: Putin calls Russian plane’s downing by Turkey a ‘stab in the back’

The Department of Defence confirmed to Global News it had sent a CP-140 Aurora Aircraft to the U.K.

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“Following a request for assistance, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed one CP-140 Aurora Aircraft to RAF Lossiemouth,” said Jamie Donovan, a spokesperson for the Canadian Forces, in an email.

“The CAF routinely conduct operations and exercises with British Armed Forces as part of a long-standing and mutually beneficial defence partnership.”

The U.K. was forced to turn to Canada as they don’t have their own sub-hunting aircraft. They got rid of the plane after the 2010 Defense Review led  Britain to drastically reduce manpower and equipment across the United Kingdom’s entire military.

Britain’s defence ministry declined to give details of the operation, but confirmed to the Telegraph that allied planes were assisting the Navy from the airbase on the Moray Firth.

Russian submarine activity has raised concerns in Europe and North America recently. The New York Times reported last month that Russian subs had been operating along undersea fiber-optic cable routes that carry almost all global Internet communications.

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