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Russian Navy aircraft deliver missile strikes in drills as US warship deploys to Black Sea

The exercise involved over 20 aircraft
Su-24M frontline bombers Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Su-24M frontline bombers
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

SEVASTOPOL, December 6. /TASS/. Pilots of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s naval aviation kicked off their first flights in the winter training period, practicing notional enemy warship tracking and missile strikes against naval targets, the Fleet’s press office reported on Monday.

"The crews of aircraft accomplished bombings against a target field, firings of rockets against coastal and naval targets and practiced the combat training tasks of hunting down and tracking mock enemy submarines and surface ships in the Black Sea in the course of their combat training," the press office said in a statement.

The exercise involved over 20 aircraft, including Su-30SM multirole fighters, Su-24M frontline bombers, Be-12 and An-26 planes and Mi-8 and Ka-27 helicopters, the press office specified.

The US Sixth Fleet announced on November 25 that the Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) entered the Black Sea "on a routine patrol." As the US Navy claimed, "NATO allies and partners routinely operate in the region" to ensure a safe and stable maritime environment and "build partner capacity to improve effectiveness and interoperability."

Meanwhile, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported on November 25 that the Russian naval forces had started to track the US destroyer’s deployments in the Black Sea. As the Defense Ministry of Russia stressed, the activity of US naval ships in the Black Sea is becoming an increasingly destabilizing factor in the region and one of the aims is to exploit Ukrainian territory for military purposes.