MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu inspected the Russian Navy’s sweeping drills in the eastern Mediterranean, the Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
"On February 15, Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu inspected the Russian Navy’s drills in the eastern Mediterranean running as part of naval maneuvers in operationally important areas of the World Ocean and in the seas adjacent to Russian territory," the ministry said in a statement.
At the Russian Navy’s logistics facility in the port of Tartus in Syria, Shoigu heard a report by Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov on joint combat training exercises by Russian combat ships and aircraft for striking a hypothetical enemy’s naval groups and delivering fire against naval and aerial targets, employing artillery guns and anti-submarine weapons, the statement says.
The Russian Navy’s chief reported to the defense minister that the Mediterranean drills involved over 15 combat ships of the Pacific, Northern and Black Sea Fleets: the missile cruisers Varyag and Marshal Ustinov, the frigates Fleet Admiral Kasatonov, Admiral Grigorovich, the large anti-submarine ships Admiral Tributs and Vice-Admiral Kulakov, support vessels and also more than 30 aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force, the ministry said.
"The drills are focused on measures to hunt down foreign submarines, establish control of shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and on flights by aircraft over it," the ministry specified.
Protecting Russia’s interests in World Ocean
The naval maneuvers are focused on measures by the Navy and the Aerospace Force to protect Russia’s national interests in the World Ocean and counter military threats to Russia from the direction of seas and oceans, the ministry specified.
"Overall, the series of the ongoing naval drills, as reported by Admiral Yevmenov, has brought together over 140 warships and support vessels, more than 60 aircraft, 1,000 items of military hardware and about 10,000 troops," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
As part of the active phase of the naval maneuvers, surface ships, submarines and naval aircraft of the Fleets operating under a single concept are practicing combat training tasks in the Okhotsk, Black and Barents Seas, the ministry informed.
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu inspected the naval maneuvers in Tartus jointly with his Syrian counterpart, General Ali Ayyoub, it said.
"At the Russian Navy’s Tartus logistics facility, Shoigu also inspected the Black Sea Fleet’s ship repair center where he set tasks for further improving the infrastructure of the base of Russian ships in Syria and also laid flowers at the monument to Admiral Fyodor Ushakov," the Defense Ministry informed.