HMS Portland tracks Admiral Gorshkov and tanker in the background (Photo credit: ©The Royal Navy)

A Russian warship sailing in international waters close to the UK was being tracked by the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy said on Wednesday its warship HMS Portland, a “Type 23” frigate, is tracking the movements of a Russian warship in the North Sea, and monitoring the Russian guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov and accompanying tanker Kama, as they sail in international waters close to the UK.

But it emphasised the fact that “Escorting warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity for the Royal Navy”.

The 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.

As Portland’s Commanding Officer Commander Ed Moss-Ward pointed out “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”, adding that, “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.”

The warship HMS Portland departed her home port of Plymouth on Saturday on her latest patrol. The frigate, which underwent a major refit in 2021, is adept at surface warfare operations as well as hunting submarines.

HMS Portland spent much of last year patrolling waters close to the UK, with visits to Norway and Sweden, and operating with NATO allies on the alliance’s submarine hunting exercise – Dynamic Mongoose – in the North Atlantic.