MURMANSK, October 13. /TASS/. A Russian Northern Fleet taskforce deployed on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Guinea in the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean practiced freeing a notional vessel seized by pirates during drills, the Fleet’s press office reported on Wednesday.
"The crews of the large anti-submarine warfare ship Vice Admiral Kulakov, the medium sea tanker Akademik Pashin and the rescue tug Altai held drills for freeing a notional vessel seized by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of the African continent," the press office said in a statement.
Under the scenario of the drills, the pirates captured a tanker whose crew managed to hide in the vessel’s machinery compartment and send a distress signal. The Russian naval sailors successfully stormed the vessel and freed its crew. A Ka-27PS helicopter that took off from the deck of the anti-submarine warfare ship Vice Admiral Kulakov provided fire support for the drills from the air, the press office said in a statement.
Following the drills for releasing the captured vessel, the crew of the large anti-submarine warfare ship practiced firing a 100mm AK-100 artillery gun and a Kinzhal surface-to-air missile system against the target that simulated the pirates’ boat.
The Northern Fleet’s taskforce went on its anti-piracy mission last week upon its arrival in the Gulf of Guinea. In addition to anti-piracy assignments, the crews of the large anti-submarine warfare ship Vice Admiral Kulakov and the support vessels have been trained to provide potential assistance to sailors in distress in the ocean, the statement says.
The large anti-submarine warfare ship Vice Admiral Kulakov embarked on its deployment in distant waters with its departure from the Northern Fleet’s main naval base of Severomorsk on June 28. Initially, the crew participated in Russia’s Main Naval Parade off Kronshtadt in the summer of this year and upon its completion practiced specific episodes of its Atlantic deployment in the course of a command and staff exercise for the Northern Fleet’s forces and troops.
On August 18 - September 23, the Northern Fleet’s sailors operated in the Mediterranean Sea, making business calls at Algeria, Syria and Cyprus and holding a series of drills for various types of defense for warships in transit by sea and practiced hunting down a mock enemy’s submarines. The Vice Admiral Kulakov has covered a distance of over 19,000 nautical miles since it left its home naval base, the press office said.