Russian warship conducts air defence exercise in Norwegian Sea
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The Royal Navy is shadowing a Russian warship carrying “unstoppable” hypersonic missiles through Europe. The Russian-made Admiral Gorshkov and the Kama, its supplying tanker, have passed through the Norwegian Sea and into international waters. The lead ship is conducting war games as it heads towards the UK coast, leaving people weary about its payload.
Russia has claimed the ship carries Zircon class hypersonic missiles.
The missiles, also known as Tsirkon, are reportedly capable of reaching up to 7,000 miles per hour, allowing them to break the sound barrier seven times over.
Western intelligence estimates that each missile can travel up to 500km (310 miles) at a low altitude.
While travelling higher, entering semi-ballistic territory, they can reportedly reach targets 750km (466 miles) away.
Russian state media has boosted the estimated range by another 250km to 1,000km (621 miles).
Speaking last week ahead of the ship’s journey, captain Igor Krokhmal said “no one” would see the missiles as they launch.
He said they would “only see when the missile hits the target”.
He added: “A surface target, a coastal target. I don’t think there will be anything to counter this in the next few years.”
Footage recorded of the ship shows it staging war games and showcasing its capabilities as it cuts through the North Sea.
Images show the interior and exterior equipment mounted on the high-tech frigate.
Personnel appear to make calculations and test hardware en route to the Mediterranean.
No missiles were launched during the drill, which was used to “test the operation of the air defence circuit, its systems, air and electronic lighting systems, anti-aircraft fire systems, tactical camouflage electronic warfare systems and air defence circuit control systems”.
British authorities have not signalled any significant concerns about the Admiral Gorshkov.
The Royal Navy is tracking the vessel and has sent the HMS Portland, a British Type 23 frigate, to keep watch.
Portland Commanding Officer Commander Ed Moss-Ward said escorting is a “routine activity” for the navy.
He added that the ship is “maintaining a visible and persistent presence” that ensures Russia will comply with maritime laws and protect the UK.
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