THE Royal Navy is tracking the movements of a Russian warship in the North Sea.
HMS Portland is monitoring the guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which carries "unstoppable" hypersonic nuke missiles and has staged chilling war games on its way to the UK.
Portland joined the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel Bergen to shepherd the warship through the region.
Her commanding officer Ed Moss-Ward said: "Escorting warships in UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas is routine activity for the Royal Navy.
"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.
"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."
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Equipped with one of the world's deadliest weapons, the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, was deployed on "combat duty" last week.
The vessel which is armed with 7,000mph Zircon nuke missiles with a 625-mile range, held exercises in the Norwegian Sea, as it sailed towards Britain.
Alarming footage shows the ship “repelling a simulated enemy’s air strikes” in stormy conditions.
The clip was released on Tuesday on Zvezda TV, owned by the Russian defence ministry.
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The report said: "The purpose of the exercise was 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.
“The ship is ready to repel air attacks from different altitudes and directions.”
The Gorshkov is due to sail to the Atlantic and Indian oceans as well as the Mediterranean.
The warship is leading a Russian naval task force in a show of strength to the West as the Ukraine war rages on.
Putin beamed as he announced "an important, if not momentous, event" as the vessel embarked on its mission from Severomorsk.
The Russian leader said in a videoconference: “The frigate Admiral Gorshkov is embarking on a long sea voyage.
“There is nothing unusual here: it is commonplace, but this time the ship is equipped with the latest hypersonic rocket system Zircon, which has no match.
"It is a hypersonic sea-based system – [and the vessel has other] latest-generation weapons…
“As I said, it has no equivalent in any country in the world.
“I am sure that such a powerful weapon will allow us to reliably protect Russia from potential external threats and help ensure our country's national interests.”
Putin insisted: “I want to stress that we will continue to develop the combat capabilities of the armed forces and produce promising weapons….
“I would like to wish the ship's crew every success in their service for the good of the Motherland.”
The new mission is expected to take the Gorshkov past the coast of the British Isles as it heads on a "show of strength" mission during the bloody conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The Russians have not disclosed the exact route or timings.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said: "This ship, armed with Zircons, is capable of delivering pinpoint and powerful strikes against the enemy at sea and on land."
In a chilling warning, he said the hypersonic missiles could overcome any missile defence system.
The missiles fly at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of over 1,000km, Shoigu said.
Moscow has boasted that the Gorshkov is “the most dangerous enemy of surface ships in the world’s oceans” now it is armed with the new hypersonic missile.
The frigate’s captain Igor Krokhmal has said previously: “No one will see the missile launch or its flight.
“They will only see when the missile hits the target.
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“A surface target, a coastal target. I don't think there will be anything to counter this in the next few years.”
Earlier this year, the Zircon was fired from the Admiral Gorshkov in the Barents Sea and hit a target at a range of 625 miles in the White Sea.
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