MOSCOW, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The planning group of Black Sea rapid response naval force BLACKSEAFOR is having a meeting in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Sevastopol on Wednesday. Main tasks for upcoming naval exercises are being determined at the meeting, spokesman of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Captain First Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev told Itar-Tass.
Naval officers from Bulgaria, Turkey, and coast guard of Georgian Interior Ministry are participating in the meeting of the planning group, the Black Sea Fleet’s spokesman said. Russia is represented by a delegation headed by chief of the department of international military cooperation of the Black Sea Fleet Captain First Rank Georgy Shelest.
Coming spring BLACKSEAFOR drills will be held in the Black Sea from March 28 through April 15. Guided missile hovercraft Samum will represent Russia in the naval exercise. She is a high-speed warship, which is the largest one in its class in Russian and world shipbuilding. High speed allows the warship not to get in the target area of self-guided missiles and a torpedo cannot hit her for the same reason. Water displacement of the warship makes 1,050 tonnes, length — 65.6 meters, width — 17.2 meters, water draught — 3.3 meters, maximum speed — 55 knots, distance of the voyage is 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 kilometers) with a speed of 12 knots. The Samum is armed with launchers of anti-ship missile Moskit, air defense system Osa-M, 76mm gun mount AK-176 and 30mm gun mount AK-630. The crew is 68 strong.
BLACKSEAFOR naval force was formed under the agreement signed in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 2, 2001. The main BLACKSEAFOR missions are search-and-rescue operations, humanitarian, minesweeping operations and environmental protection operations.