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Putin: Ships armed with Kalibr missiles to be permanently on duty in Mediterranean

A total of 102 voyages by surface ships and submarines are scheduled for this year, according to the Russian president

SOCHI, May 16. /TASS/. Russian naval ships armed with cruise missiles Kalibr will be permanently on duty in the Mediterranean, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his opening remarks at a meeting with top officials of the Defense Ministry and defense-industrial complex on Wednesday.

"A total of 102 voyages by surface ships and submarines are scheduled for this year. As the risk of attacks by international terrorists in Syria remains our ships armed with cruise missiles will be permanently on duty in the Mediterranean," he said.

The range of tasks facing the Russian Navy grew considerably wider in recent years and so did the geographic scope of its presence in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and the Asia-Pacific Region. Putin noted well-coordinated operations by the crews of surface ships and submarines during the military operation in Syria.

"Cruise missile strikes and effective operations by deck aircraft inflicted serious losses on the terrorists and eliminated their key facilities and infrastructure," Putin said. These and other crucial tasks were coped with successfully largely thanks to the high combat and technological readiness of the Navy," he said. In particular, Putin noted the growing combat potential of the Navy and the practice of long sea voyages and exercises.

"It is essential to enhance the naval component of the strategic nuclear force. This will increase the role of the Navy in nuclear deterrence," he said.

Putin described as an important task the development of multi-purpose naval groups capable of firmly countering military threats on the sea. He urged special attention to coordinated operations by such groups with the Aerospace Force and other units of the Armed Forces.

He promised that the state would continue to arm the Navy with the newest systems of weapons, communication, intelligence and target setting.