Russia fire Kalibr cruise missiles during Black Sea Navy drill

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The drills also took place with two US warships, the flagship, command ship USS Mount Whitney and the guided missile destroyer USS Porter, in close proximity. Both vessels are being closely monitored by the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s forces and capabilities, Russian state news agency Tass reported on Monday.

The US 6th Fleet had earlier confirmed its two ships had been deployed to the Black Sea for joint operations with NATO allies and regional partners.

A statement issued by the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s press office said: “The crews of the Black Sea Fleet’s small anti-submarine warfare ships Yeisk and Kasimov operating as part of a surface strike group practiced searching for and detecting a notional enemy submarine in interaction with the crew of a Ka-27M anti-submarine helicopter.

“In the course of the exercise, the crews of the ships used their own data and the data on the submarine provided by the anti-submarine helicopter to search for and track the sub and also attacked the underwater target, employing torpedo armaments and rocket-propelled depth charges.”

In the course of the drills, military personnel from the Russia warships practised air defence, firing at aerial targets with surface-to-air missiles and artillery.

The exercises took place at a naval practice range in the Black Sea, in compliance with the Fleet’s combat training plan, the statement said

A Black Sea submarine simulated the enemy during the drills, the press office added.

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The ‘Terminator’ is a multi-purpose heavily armoured and armed tracked fire support fighting vehicle which features powerful armaments, advanced fire control instruments and high manoeuvrability.

It is capable of striking light armoured targets, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, and can operate jointly with battlefield air defence systems in battle against enemy helicopters and low-flying low-speed aircraft.

Central Military District Commander Colonel-General Alexander Lapin said: ”This year, we have successfully tested new methods of employing tank support combat vehicles in the 90th Tank Division and this has been a long-awaited event for us.

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He added: “We will now make a company of nine tank support combat vehicles operational in a tank regiment of the 90th Tank Division before the end of this year, by December 1, by a decision of the defence minister and on an instruction from the chief of the General Staff.

“In June next year, we will hold a larger operational evaluation exercise to explore the potential of employing a battalion of tank support combat vehicles.”

Central military command was also considering the possibility of company of tank support combat vehicles for a motor rifle regiment, the commander explained.

He said: “I am deeply convinced that this armour will successfully cope with its combat tasks in a combined arms engagement and in compliance with modern requirements as the most efficient firepower vehicle both to support tanks and address a broad range of missions in the mountains and in populated localities.”

The Black Sea is a key strategic waterway, especially since Russia seized the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a move which enabled it to base ships at the port of Odessa.

Tensions with Ukraine threatened to boil over earlier this year after a big build-up of troops along its border with Russia, sparking fears of an invasion, and there are some indications that this may be happening again.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby subsequently told reporters Washington was monitoring the situation.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday dismissed the reports, insisting, there was no need to ‘waste time’ on ‘low-quality’ claims.

He added: “The movement of our military equipment and army units… is exclusively our business. Russia has never threatened anyone.”

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