Russia’s Northern Fleet has released a statement that they’ve departed the port in their largest exercise in the past 10 years. The purpose of this large unplanned, no-notice exercise was to counter a large enemy attack.
A total of 36 warships and support vessels are currently on their way out to the Barents Sea. Also, about 20 aircraft are in the air. Along the coast of the Kola Peninsula, more than 150 different rocket- and artillery weapon systems and special equipment are deployed.
Larger areas in the Barents Sea are now closed off for civilian shipping and overflights by civilian passenger aircraft. The drill will last until the end of next week.
The press-service of the Northern Fleet explains the exercise to be a full-range defensive-aimed drill to combat a massive enemy attack. The fleet will carry out shootings with different naval weapons, including launching of cruise-missiles, mines and torpedoes and other missiles.
Among the warships are the missile cruiser «Marshal Ustinov,» anti-submarine ship «Severomorsk», the destroyer «Admiral Ushakov», the large landing ships «Kondapoga», «Georgy Pobedonosets» and «Aleksandr Obrakovsky».
Without specifying classes or names, the Northern Fleet says both nuclear-powered and diesel submarines participate.
Press-spokesman at Norway’s military Joint Head Quarters, Major Brynjar Stordal, says to the Barents Observer that Norway was not informed about the naval drill.
Russian forces in the north has over time had a relatively high level of activities in different fields, something they have all rights to do within own territory and in international waters and airspace
The Norwegians have an understanding with the Russians that any large exercises outside of each nation’s territorial waters is normally shared as to keep the other side abreast and understanding of the current situation.
Russia’s Northern Fleet, headquartered in Severomorsk north of Murmansk, is the largest of Russia’s four fleets.
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