Royal Navy emergency as submarine hunter warship intercepts Russian vessels in North Sea

The UK force’s 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 in the northwest of Bergen in Norway. The Type 23 frigate escorted Vladimir Putin’s submarines before NATO and Baltic forces took over duties as they continued to St Petersburg for Russian Navy Day celebrations on July 31.

The operation comes after HMS Portland took part in NATO’s premiere submarine-hunting exercise.

Royal Navy officials said the 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.

 

This month, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Britain will send scores of artillery guns and more than 1,600 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in the latest supply of Western arms to help bolster the country’s defence against Russia. 

The boost came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month promised another £1 billion of military support, bringing total UK support to Ukraine since the start of the war, which Russia calls a “special operation”, to 2.3 billion pounds.

Mr Wallace said: “Together with our international partners, we will ensure Ukraine has the tools to defend their country from Putin’s illegal invasion.” 

The defence secretary said Britain would also provide counter-battery radar systems, hundreds of drones and more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition.

The UK has already supplied Ukraine with a range of military equipment including almost 7,000 anti-tank weapons, hundreds of missiles and armoured fighting vehicles, and has also been training Ukrainian soldiers.

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