UK’s Type 23 frigate tracks movements of Russian subs into North Sea

A Royal Navy warship, Type 23 frigate HMS Portland, has tracked the movements of two Russian submarines as they sailed into the North Sea.

As informed, the vessel was on the watch as cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk and Akula-class attack submarine Vepr made their underwater journey south along the Norwegian coast from the Arctic.

Photo: Royal Navy

The Type 23 frigate shadowed the submarines as they surfaced separately in the North Sea, north west of Bergen, Norway, on 16 and 19 July 16, before NATO and Baltic forces took over duties as they continued to St Petersburg for Russian Navy Day celebrations on 31 July.

Portland and Merlin helicopter, both equipped with cutting-edge sonars, sensors and torpedoes for submarine-hunting operations, reported on the movements of the Russian Northern Fleet vessels.

One of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) new long-range maritime patrol aircraft, the P8 Poseidon, also worked closely with HMS Portland to hunt and track the submarines. 

This operation comes soon after HMS Portland took part in NATO’s submarine-hunting exercise. This large-scale joint exercise proved to be the ideal prelude for this type of live operation.

HMS Portland’s Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Leeder, said: “Our success on operations marks the culmination of many months of specialist training and exercises. Critically, the cohesiveness of Royal Navy, RAF and our allies capabilities ensures that we are capable of conducting and sustaining these types of anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic.”

Last December, the frigate completed 8-month long regeneration. The ship has had to adapt its routines and how it deals with incidents, particularly firefighting/flooding and recovering casualties.

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Photo: HMS Portland shadows Russian submarine Severodvinsk; Photo: Royal Navy