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UK: Royal Navy's frigate HMS Portland tracks movements of Russian submarines.

| 2022

According to information published by the UK Ministry of Defense on July 22, 2022, a Royal Navy warship tracked the movements of two Russian submarines as they sailed into the North Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian nuclear-powered submarine and British Type 23 frigate HMS Portland (Picture source: Royal Navy)

British submarine hunter HMS Portland was on watch as cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk and Akula-class attack submarine Vepr made their underwater journey south along the Norwegian coast from the Arctic.

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

Portland and her specialist 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 RAF’s 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 premiere submarine-hunting exercise. This large-scale joint exercise proved to be the ideal prelude for this type of live operation.

About the frigate HMS Portland

HMS Portland is a Type 23 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the eighth ship to bear the name and is the fifteenth and penultimate ship of the 'Duke' class of frigates, and is named for the currently extinct title of the Dukedom of Portland, and more particularly for the third Duke, who was Prime Minister.

The ship has a length of 133 meters, a width of 16 meters, and a full load displacement of 4,200 tons. It is driven by a gas turbine and has a maximum speed of 28 knots and a crew of 185.

The ship is armed with 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.35 VLS canisters for 32 Sea Ceptor missiles, two quad Harpoon launchers anti-ship missiles, two twins 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes, one BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun, two 30 mm DS30M Mk2 automatic cannons, two miniguns and four General-purpose machine guns.

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