Thursday, 11 Aug 2022

Royal Navy warship races to Russian submarines spotted in North Sea

Two Russian submarines were tailed by a Royal Navy warship in the North Sea as the UK continues to provide training to Ukraine’s military.

British submarine hunter HMS Portland shadowed the two vessels after they surfaced separately north west of Bergen, Norway.

Cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk and Akula-class attack sub Vepr were tracked on their journey south along the Norwegian coast from the Arctic.

Portland and her specialist Merlin helicopter – both equipped with cutting-edge sonars, sensors and torpedoes – were quick to respond to the unwanted visitors.

The P8 Poseidon, one of the RAF’s new long-range maritime patrol aircraft, also worked to track the submarines.

Royal Navy sailors are currently training personnel from Ukraine’s navy in operating two Sandown-class minehunters which are set to be sold to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov met with UK armed forces minister James Heappey and parliamentarians in London before visiting soldiers and sailors training in Scotland.

The ministers spoke with trainees and the Royal Navy instructors, observing them practising key skills at sea, such as weapon drills and damage control, while learning to operate the machinery on the vessels.

Mr Heappey said: ‘The intensity with which the Ukrainian soldiers and sailors are training is something to behold.

‘They work with the focus of troops who know they’ll be fighting in a war in just a few short weeks’ time.

‘Delivering training that matches that intensity and focus is not straightforward.

‘The Royal Navy and the British Army are working long hours and drawing on all their operational experience to make sure their new Ukrainian friends are sent into combat with the best chance of victory.’

The Sandown-class minehunters, which were introduced into the Royal Navy in the late 80s, specialise in finding and neutralising mines in deep waters.

The programme is part of training being provided by 1,000 UK service personnel at military sites around the country aimed at preparing volunteer recruits with the skills for frontline combat.

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