Author`s name Michael Simpson

Russia to Have its Ocean Storm

For the first time over 30 years, vessels of three Russian Navy fleets are to take part in large-scale naval exercises near the shores of Primorye
Exercises of the joint Russian squadron that are held in the Indian Ocean now are just a rehearsal before coming large-scale naval exercises of the Russian Navy that are to take place in the Pacific Ocean in August.

The naval exercises held by vessels of Russia's Pacific Fleet and Black Sea Fleet, which met on the eve of the Victory Day in the Arabian Sea, started with an unprecedented for the Russian Fleet show. Four strategic bombers Tu-95 and Tu-160 covered over 10,000 kilometers to get to and from the area where the exercises were held from the air-base in the Russian city of Engels. They participated in firing missiles of Russia's long-range aviation directed against sea targets in the Indian Ocean. On this stage of the exercises, a new anti-vessel missile was successfully tested. This missile is to be adopted by the Russian Navy in 2003.

The exercises were preceded with Russia's considerable diplomatic breakthrough in Asia. It is for the first time in the modern history when on the way to the Ocean Russian strategic bombers were allowed to cross Iran's airspace. Vessels and submarines of the Indian naval forces are taking an active part in the exercises in the role of a probable enemy, which is done for the first time as well.

On May 26, Russian vessels left the water area and the Indian port of Mumbai and escorted with the Indian fleet, they moved to the West, to the Bay of Bengal. The third, the final stage of the exercises is to take place there early in June. In the end of the first ten-day period of June, ships of the Russian Navy's joint squadron will head for the Russian city of Vladivostok. The schedule of the exercises supposes that Russian vessels will get to Vladivostok at the end of June for a very short period.

As it is reported, a large delegation of the Russian authority with President Vladimir Putin at head will arrive in Vladivostok on July 27, 2003, when the Navy Day is celebrated in Russia. A naval parade in the water area of the Bay of Amur will be held with participation of the best battleship ships and a multi-purpose submarine of the Pacific Fleet; at least three vessels of the Black Sea Fleet will also participate in the parade. The three vessels will further get incorporated into the Pacific Fleet to make it the main fleet of the country (now the Pacific Fleet is inferior to the Northern Fleet only in the number of surface ships in a state of permanent alert). Right after the parade, the ships will secretly put out to sea and disperse over regions where the naval exercises are to be held. President Vladimir Putin will observe the exercises from the board of the missile cruiser Moskva for several days. The cruiser will become the flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet.

As is known, the schedule of the naval exercises that are to last for two weeks has been developed and confirmed on the whole. Majority of battle episodes, including landing of a marine battalion on the Cezar Kunikov military transport ship for liquidation of a terrorist group that has seized a portable artillery missile construction ashore, will be held in the Primorye region. Main objective of the exercises is not only to demonstrate the power and potential of the Russian fleet. The exercises are also held to show a new view of the Russian top command upon usage of the fleet: fast transfer of large and mobile groups of Russian vessels in any part of the globe.

Some sources report that in addition to ships of the Pacific and Black Sea fleets, two nuclear submarines of the Northern Fleet will also take part in the naval exercises. The submarines will secretly go from the Kola Peninsula to Kamchatka under the North Pole.

Vasily Buslayev
Yezhednevnye Novosti