The Russian Pacific Fleet has kicked off large-scale drills in the central part of the Pacific Ocean, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.
"In accordance with the plan of training military command centers of the Pacific Fleet’s forces (troops) in 2021, an operational exercise of the Fleet’s combined arms forces is running in the distant maritime zone," the ministry said in a statement.
The Pacific Fleet’s "naval tactical groups have made a transit about 4,000 km long from naval bases and combat watch areas and deployed the Fleet’s groups in the designated area of the Pacific for accomplishing training tasks," TASS cited the statement as saying.
The exercise in the distant maritime zone involves up to 20 surface combatants, submarines and support vessels, including the Fleet’s flagship, the Guards Order of Nakhimov Missile Cruiser Varyag, the ministry said.
The large-scale naval maneuvers in the Pacific also involve the large anti-submarine warfare ship Admiral Panteleyev outfitted with guided missile weapons, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, the corvettes Gromky, Sovershenniy and Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov, the measuring ship Marshal Krylov and also logistics support vessels, the statement says.
The exercise also involves about 20 aircraft, including Tu-142M3 long-range anti-submarine warfare planes, MiG-31BM high-altitude interceptor-fighters and other aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force, the ministry specified.
The forces engaged in the naval maneuvers "are practicing the tasks of exercising command and control of a combined arms group at a considerable distance from naval bases in protecting and defending sea (oceanic) lanes and interoperability of the operational taskforce of warships and aircraft in searching for and tracking a notional enemy’s submarines and naval groups," the statement says.
The exercise is running under the direction of Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Sergei Avakyants, the ministry said.