The Baltic fleet's flagship torpedo ship Persistant and large landing ship Kaliningrad participate in the international marine training in the Baltic Sea Baltops-2003. The Baltic fleet's press service told Rosbalt that it was the first time in the 30 year history of the manoeuvers that two Russian ships were sent to participate. Up until now, one ship has always represented the Baltic float at the event.
50 military ships and 20 airplanes from NATO countries will also be present at the event, and Russian ships will take part in both phases of the manoeuvers for the second year in a row. Earlier in working out the main military training goals, organizers relied only on the NATO ships. Now the Baltic fleet ships are included in the tactical group where they will train together with the US cruiser Vella Gulf, German frigate Lubeck and tanker Ren. Moreover, the Kaliningrad will carry a battalion of marine infantry which will be included in the group of tactical landing forces landing at one of the coastal ranges in Poland.