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Russian Northern Fleet missile cruiser crosses equator

The naval group has crossed from the southern to the northern hemisphere, according to the Fleet's press office
Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser  Lev Fedoseyev/TASS
Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser
© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MURMANSK, December 10. /TASS/. The Northern Fleet’s missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov accompanied by the rescue tug SB-406 and the medium sea tanker Vyazma has crossed the equator from the southern into the northern hemisphere, the Fleet’s press office reported on Tuesday.

"After leaving the territorial sea of the South African Republic, the group of the Northern Fleet’s ships and vessels has covered over 2,000 nautical miles," the press office said in a statement.

The sailors replenished fuel and water supplies from the tanker and held several shipboard exercises to repel a notional enemy’s air attack and counter possible attacks by small-size fast-speed boats and concurrently practiced searching for submarines.

The Northern Fleet’s naval group will now be moving northward along the African coast. The deployment by the Northern Fleet’s naval group will last about two more months.

The Northern Fleet’s naval group led by the missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov left the Fleet’s main naval base of Severomorsk on July 3 to take part in Russia’s main naval parade in St. Petersburg. After the parade, the crews of the cruiser and the support vessels took part in the Russian Navy’s Ocean Shield 2019 large-scale drills.

Over the period of two months, the Northern Fleet’s naval group held a series of drills in the Mediterranean and visited Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Fleet’s naval group made business calls at the ports of Praia in the Republic of Cabo Verde and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea.

In late November, the Northern Fleet’s naval group held the first ever joint drills with the navies of China and South Africa to provide for safe shipping and maritime economic activity. The joint naval exercise involved the Chinese frigate Weifang and the South African warship Amatola, as well as support vessels of South Africa’s Navy.

The Northern Fleet’s ships have covered a distance of over 28,500 nautical miles since they embarked on their long-distance deployment.