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MURMANSK, May 16. /TASS/. The heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, the flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet, has gone to sea for the first time in two years, the fleet’s press office reported on Monday.
"This is the first sea practice of the missile cruiser after the vessel’s technical readiness has been restored. The Pyotr Veliky crew has practised the entire range of basic training missions, checked the preparedness of weapons and the ship’s technical capabilities for operations at sea," the press office said.
The sailors of the Pyotr Veliky and the Sergei Osipov tanker have already held drills at anchorages off Severomorsk in north Russia. The crews held a joint training exercise to replenish supplies at the anchorage. The Pyotr Veliky is also expected to leave the home base in the escort of five coastal-type and ocean mine sweepers.
"The crew of the heavy missile cruiser will practice organizing its service on the march and check its weapons and technical capabilities in the Barents Sea during several days. Exercises will be held aboard the cruiser to practice the ship’s survivability on the move and at an anchorage, receive helicopters and also carry out anti-submarine warfare and air defense," the press office said.
The Pyotr Veliky’s voyage will be the first sea practice for recruits and some contract servicemen who joined the cruiser’s crew in 2015 and 2016," the press office sad.
In 2013-2014, the heavy missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky performed a voyage to the Mediterranean Sea, which lasted over seven months.
The Pyotr Veliky is the world’s largest nuclear-powered battleship, which is not an aircraft carrier. Its weapons suite comprises Granit anti-ship missiles and the Fort air defense missile system, which is the naval version of the S-300 antiaircraft missile complex.
A source in the Russian shipbuilding industry earlier told TASS that the Pyotr Veliky should undergo modernization in 2019-2022 to receive new armaments, including Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.