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British Navy Tracks Two Russian Submarines in the North Sea

British Navy Russian submarines
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / Andrew Butko

A British Navy warship HMS Portland has tracked two Russian submarines in the North Sea. The British submarine hunter shadowed the vessels from Russia’s Northern Fleet after they surfaced separately northwest of Bergen, Norway.

The two submarines were tracked as they traveled underwater south along the Norwegian coast from the Arctic, the Navy said.

HMS Portland reported on the movements of the Russian cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk and Akula-class attack submarine Vepr on Friday 22nd.

Both the Navy Type 23 frigate and its specialist Merlin helicopter are equipped with cutting-edge sonars, sensors, and torpedoes for submarine-hunting operations.

The British Navy spokesman said that one of the Royal Air Force‘s new long-range maritime patrol aircraft, the P8 Poseidon, also worked closely with HMS Portland to “hunt and track” the submarines.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) does not usually comment publicly on specific submarine-hunting exercises, but the tracking of the pair comes at a moment when the UK’s armed forces continue to train the Ukrainian military personnel.

The British Navy’s efforts in training Ukrainian Military

The Royal Navy sailors are training Ukrainian navy personnel in operating two Sandown-class minehunters, which are to be sold to Ukraine as an effort of the UK to help in the war against Russia.

The mine-hunter training is part of a UK-led military training program involving more than a thousand UK service personnel aimed at getting volunteer recruits ready for frontline combat.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the UK’s basic soldier training course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, and the laws around armed conflict.

Introduced into the Royal Navy in the late ’80s, the Sandown-class minehunters specialize in finding and neutralizing mines in deep waters.

James Heappey, the UK armed forces minister, and Volodymyr Havrylov, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, have visited the soldiers and sailors training on them in Scotland, the MoD added.

The two observed recruits are training on weapon drills, damage control, and operation of machinery on vessels at the training center. For security reasons, the exact location has not been disclosed.

“The intensity with which the Ukrainian soldiers and sailors are training is something to behold,” Mr. Heappey said. “They work with the focus of troops who know they’ll be fighting in a war in just a few short weeks’ time.”

A Royal Navy mine hunter captain involved in the training said it was a privilege to be working with his Ukrainian counterparts.

He noted that “it’s clearly a very difficult situation in Ukraine at the moment and so it’s a professional privilege to be working with the Ukrainian navy, who are incredibly focused on getting the job done,” reflecting on the urgency of the task at hand during this time of the Russian invasion.

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