The Norwegian P-3C Orion took out on a normal operation in the High North around 12.20 a.m. on Tuesday (25 Jan.). The MPA, which took off from Andøya on a regular basis, tracked a group of Russian warships south along the Norway coast in waters north of Finnmark.

A total of five Russian naval vessels were identified by the P-3 Orion: an Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate, an Udaloy-class anti-submarine warfare destroyer, a Slava-class cruiser, a Kaliningradneft-class tanker, and a Sliva-class support vessel.

Russia declared earlier this week in open sources that it will undertake a series of maritime military drills in the coming months. The zones announced for participation were the Atlantic, Pacific, Nordic, and Mediterranean, with over 140 warships and support vessels taking part.

The Russian vessels sailed legally in international waters, although Norway continually monitors all movements in Norwegian surrounding areas. Our P-3C Orion’s primary mission is to monitor Norwegian marine areas and assert Norwegian sovereignty. This is to ensure that you have a clear knowledge of the situation and an outline of your own responsibilities.

In addition to maritime surveillance and reconnaissance, the P-3C looks for foreign submarines and assists in search and rescue efforts. For more than 60 years, Orion has completed these missions from Andøya Airport.

After 2023, the Navy will operate P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Evenes Air Station, which is scheduled to arrive in Norway in February 2022.