SEVASTOPOL, April 21. /TASS/. The Black Sea Fleet’s missile corvette Orekhovo-Zuyevo has started transiting the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to join the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean taskforce, the Fleet’s press office reported on Tuesday.
"The ship’s crew is making a planned transit from Sevastopol to the Mediterranean Sea. During the transit, the ship’s crew accomplished a set of shipborne combat drills at the Fleet’s combat training ranges in the Black Sea," the press office said in a statement.
The missile corvette Orekhovo-Zuyevo is expected to join the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean taskforce already by Tuesday evening, the statement says.
The Orekhovo-Zuyevo is the seventh Project 21631 ‘Buyan-M’ small missile ship. Project 21631 Buyan-M-class small missile ships feature increased water displacement and are equipped with the latest Kalibr-NK standardized precision missile system designated to strike naval and coastal targets.
Russian Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron
The Soviet Navy’s 5th Mediterranean Squadron served as a prototype for the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean taskforce operating at present. The 5th operational Soviet Squadron dealt with the tasks of naval presence in the Mediterranean theater of operations during the Cold War period. Its main rival was the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. The Soviet Squadron was disbanded on December 31, 1992, a year after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
In 2013, Russia started to create a new operational Mediterranean taskforce. Russia’s new permanent Squadron is dealing with planned and urgent combat missions arising in the Mediterranean theater of operations, including warding off threats to Russia’s national and military security.