THIS is the shocking moment a Russian stealth submarine crashed into a Royal Navy warship in an unbelievable clash.
A crew member can be heard shouting “what the f**k have I just hit?” after the HMS Northumberland struck the “hunter-killer” sub in the icy north Atlantic.
The dramatic collision – which is believed to have been an accident – was caught on film by a Channel 5 TV crew whilst shooting for the show Warship: Life At Sea, which airs on Mondays at 9pm.
It is thought to be the first collision between Russian and Royal Navy vessels since the Cold War.
The unbelievable clip shows crew members closing in on the submarine in late 2020 before disaster strikes.
Panicked personnel spring into action while one can be heard shouting: “What the f*** have I just hit?”
The impact caused considerable damage to HMS Northumberland’s sonar device after it was dragged across the submarine’s hull.
It forced the British squad to abort their mission and return to base for repairs.
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.
Commander Thom Hobbs can be heard saying: “We are very close to the submarine, we are probably parallel.
“If they were on the surface we would definitely see faces.”
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 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.
Vladimir Putin’s shadowy fleet of subs, dedicated to tampering with vital undersea internet cables, are covertly carried underneath larger vessels.
They then use robotic arms to tamper with or even cut key cables that help keep the world’s economy moving with potentially devastating consequences.
Undersea cables crisscrossing the seafloor carry 97 per cent of internet traffic with $10 trillion worth of daily financial transactions dependent on them.
Slicing the wires could shut down the internet, cut Britain off from the rest of the world, paralyse financial transactions, and damage communications with the military overseas.
But although it is believed the submarine was aware that the Royal Navy warship was nearby, the smash is said to have been accidental.
Tom Sharpe OBE, the former commanding officer of the Royal Navy HMS St Albans said of the incident: “The question is, was it deliberate or was it an accident?
RUSSIAN THREAT ‘IS REAL’
“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.”
A Russian spy ship carrying the state-of-the-art stealth subs was spotted in the English Channel in September last year.
It came a month after the same vessel was seen off the Irish coastline in what was being viewed as a push from Putin to scare the West.
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.