HMS Portland tracks Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov in North Sea: UK
The Royal Navy says the British warship HMS Portland is tracking and reporting on the movements of the Russian ships through the North Sea.
The Royal Navy confirmed on Wednesday that the HMS Portland frigate is tracking Russian-guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov and tanker Kama sailing "close to the UK" through the North Sea.
According to the Royal Navy, HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, "joined the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Bergen, as the Russian ships transited south through the Norwegian Sea."
"Portland with her specialist Merlin helicopter embarked - both equipped with cutting-edge sonars, sensors and torpedoes for specialist operations - is tracking and reporting on the movements of the Russian ships through the North Sea," the Navy indicated on its website.
HMS Portland’s Commander Ed Moss-Ward pointed out that "Escorting warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity for the Royal Navy."
"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," Moss-Ward added.
He also said, "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."
On Tuesday, Russia's Northern Fleet’s press office reported that frigate Admiral Gorshkov armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles repelled a notional enemy air attack during drills in the Norwegian Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-December that frigate Admiral Gorshkov, equipped with advanced hypersonic cruise missiles Zircon, would be put into operation in early January, adding that it was planned to continue equipping Russia's strategic forces with the latest types of weapons.
🇷🇺🚢🚀Footage of today's launch of the hypersonic cruise missile "Zircon" from the frigate "Admiral Gorshkov".— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) January 4, 2023
A missile fired from the Barents Sea successfully hit a target in the White Sea, located at a distance of almost 1000 km. pic.twitter.com/tjOldW6Pfv
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the frigate was placed on combat duty. In his ceremonial address partaking in the departure of the frigate, Putin highlighted that the Zircon [hypersonic] missile was a "unique weapon" and that "no other country has anything comparable."
"I am sure that such a powerful armament will allow us to steadfastly defend Russia from potential foreign threats. It will help to maintain the national interests of our country," the Russian President underlined.
On his part, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said frigate Admiral Gorshkov will carry out "a voyage in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea."
"A ship fitted with Zircons is capable of carrying out high-precision and powerful strikes on the enemy at sea and on land," Shoigu indicated, adding that "The unique feature of Zircon hypersonic missiles is their guaranteed ability to bypass any existing or prospective air defense systems."
According to the Russian Defense Minister, the missiles have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
It is noteworthy that frigate Admiral Gorshkov has been part of Russia’s Northern Fleet since 2018.