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MURMANSK, May 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Northern Fleet launched an exercise in the Barents Sea, involving 10 warships and support vessels, including the flagship of the Russian Navy - Project 11442 heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) and planes and helicopters of the Northern Fleet’s Air Force and Air Defense Army, the fleet’s press service reported on Friday.
"Northern Fleet Deputy Commander Vice-Admiral Viktor Sokolov staying onboard the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky is in command of the Northern Fleet forces’ actions in the maneuvers," the report says. The maneuvers are taking place as part of the annual practical training of students of the Russian General Staff Military Academy.
The exercise will involve a mine-sweeping group comprising the mine sweepers Yadrin, Yelnya and Solovetsky Yunga that will support the departure of the cruiser Pyotr Veliky from its base. After that, a search and rescue group comprising the small antisubmarine warfare ships Yunga and Snezhnogorsk will interact with an Ilyushin Il-38 (NATO reporting name: May) plane and the Project 877 diesel-electric submarine Vladikavkaz to detect and destroy a simulated enemy’s submarine.
The nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky and the small antisubmarine warfare ships Snezhnogorsk and Yunga will hold a missile and artillery live-firing exercise to hit parachute targets dropped by a Sukhoi Su-24 (Fencer) frontline bomber. After that, the rescue tug Pamir and the BM-596 diving vessel will practice providing assistance for the crew of a ship in distress in cooperation with a Kamov Ka-27PS (Helix) shipborne search and rescue helicopter.
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 (Zircon) hypersonic missiles.