Royal Navy tracks Russian warship sailing ‘close to the UK’

HMS Portland
HMS Portland

A Russian warship armed with hypersonic missiles is being tracked by the Royal Navy sailing “close to the UK” through the North Sea.

The Admiral Gorshkov is the first Russian vessel armed with hypersonic weapons.

HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, is monitoring the Russian ship, and an accompanying tanker Kama, as they sail in international waters.

The Royal Navy stressed that escorting warships through “UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity”

HMS Portland had joined the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Bergen as the Russian ships moved south through the Norwegian Sea.

Commander Ed Moss-Ward, HMS Portland’s commanding officer, said: “By maintaining a visible and persistent presence, the Royal Navy ensures compliance with maritime law and deters malign activity to protect our nation’s interests.

“Escorting the Russian task group alongside forces from our Nato allies has demonstrated the UK’s commitment to the alliance and to maintaining maritime security.”

HMS Portland departed her home port of Plymouth on Saturday on patrol.

The frigate underwent a major refit in 2021 and is adept at surface warfare and hunting submarines.

Vladimir Putin sent the Admiral Gorshkov, with Zircon hypersonic missiles onboard, on a week-long voyage last week.

It was expected to carry out exercises including training for the crew on deploying hypersonic weapons and long-range cruise missiles.

In a video conference with Igor Krokhmal, the ship’s commander, Mr Putin said last week that it would be on “combat duty”.

The move was seen as an attempt to distract from Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

Mr Putin did not give the ship a specific mission but said it would help to protect Russia “from potential external threats” and would “advance national interests”.

The warship was ordered to sail from its home base on the Barents Sea and to pass the UK as it headed to the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and the Mediterranean.

Published by anthonyhayble

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