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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Yaroslav Mudry frigate to enter service before year-end

RIA Novosti

12/03/2009 13:23 BALTIYSK, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's newest frigate, the Yaroslav Mudry, will begin service before the end of this year, the Baltic Fleet commander said on Thursday.

The frigate - the second vessel in the 11540 Yastreb project after the Neustrashimy, which recently took part in an anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden - is currently undergoing sea trials.

"The tests have been conducted successfully. They will last two or three months, after which the final trials will begin, which are set to end by fall," Rear Admiral Viktor Mardusin said.

Earlier reports said the frigate could enter service in April. The construction of the Yaroslav Mudry has taken almost 19 years due to lack of financing.

The frigate has a displacement of 4,250 tons and a maximum speed of 30 knots. It is armed with anti-ship missiles, air defense systems, a 100-mm artillery mount, depth charges, and a Ka-27 helicopter.

Mardusin earlier said the Neustrashimy could be sent back to Somalia in May-June, and that the Yaroslav Mudry could join the international anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden after entering service with the Baltic Fleet.

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