Royal Navy warship on trail of two Russian submarines

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Dramatic images show HMS Portland shadowing the vessels, identified as cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk and Akula-class attack submarine Vepr. The subs had surfaced separately north-west of Bergen, Norway.

A Navy spokesman said they were tracked as they made their underwater journey south along the Norwegian coast from the Arctic.

He said: “Portland and her specialist Merlin helicopter, both equipped with cuttingedge sonars, sensors and torpedoes for submarinehunting 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.”

It comes as Royal Navy sailors train personnel from Ukraine in operating two Sandown-class minehunters, which are set to be sold to Kyiv. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Volodymyr Havrylov met with UK Armed Forces minister James Heappey and parliamentarians in London, before they visited soldiers and sailors training in Scotland.

The trainees have been practising key skills at sea, such as weapons drills and damage control, while learning to operate key machinery.

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.

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

Mr Havrylov said: “We are very grateful for their invaluable contribution to Ukraine’s success in repelling the Russian aggressors.”

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