30 Nov 2019 15:40

Russia's Marshal Ustinov cruiser heading to N. Atlantic after drills with Chinese, S. African sailors

MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) - The Marshal Ustinov cruiser has concluded the exercise involving the frigates from South Africa and China in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, Northern Fleet spokesperson Vadim Serga said.

"The Russian missile-carrying cruiser Marshal Ustinov concluded the exercise involving China's Weifang frigate and South Africa's Amatola frigate in the South Atlantic on Saturday," Serga said.

Upon the conclusion of the international exercise, the sailors of the three countries held the final conference on board the South African frigate.

The maneuvers took place in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean near the Cape of Good Hope for three days. The first stage comprised of a joint exercise in ensuring safe maritime traffic and maritime economic activities. The warships drilled joint tactical maneuvering, held live-fire drills with sea targets, and acted out an episode of providing air defense for a naval surface group;

On Friday, the three countries' sailors held a rescue drill and act out an episode of freeing a seized vessel with hostages. The anti-terrorist and inspection units played the main rile in the final stage of the international drill.

As part of preparations for the practical stage of the international exercise, the Northern Fleet marines held several practice sessions in freeing a seized vessel at the Cape Town port.

"Upon the completion of the first joint naval drill involving Russia, China and South Africa, the Northern Fleet's naval unit comprised of the Marshal Ustinov missile-carrying cruiser, the SB-406 rescue tug, and the Vyazma tanker is heading to the North Atlantic," Serga said.

The Northern Fleet unit led by the Marshal Ustinov departed from the fleet's main base, Severomorsk, on July 3. It participated in the Navy Day Parade in St. Petersburg and in the Oceanic Shield 2019 exercise of the Russian Navy.

The unit operated in the Mediterranean Sea for the next two months and visited Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. The Russian sailors called on ports of Praia, Cabo Verde, and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The unit has covered a distance of over 26,000 nautical miles since the beginning of their voyage.