Russia is sending an aircraft carrier and numerous other military vessels to assist the bombing of rebel-held areas of Syria this month with reports emerging that the vessels may already be on their way.
But it’s the unusual route chosen – through the English Channel – that is presently ringing the loudest alarm bells in the UK.
And we may even get an eyeful of the drive-by in the Irish Sea if the Russians decide to split their vessels and travel down both sides of the British coastline.
Travelling via the English Channel is not typical for Russian boats headed for Syria. Instead, most come directly down the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea at the Turkish city of Istanbul.
The move has been described as posturing by the Royal Navy and an overt demonstration of strength by Vladimir Putin. The carrier’s aircraft are expected to launch flying drills off the British and French coasts and may even to carry out practice exercises including bombing.