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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered cruiser plies English Channel

RIA Novosti


PYOTR VELIKY (Atlantic Ocean), April 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Veliky, deployed to participate in the largest Russian Navy drills in the Indian Ocean, has crossed the English Channel for the first time in her history.

"The ship has indeed passed through the channel for the first time," the commander of the cruiser, Capt. 2nd Rank Felix Menkov, told a RIA Novosti correspondent on board the vessel.

"The English Channel is shallow...and has a great deal of potential risks, including heavy marine traffic both to the south and the north," Menkov said.

Six days after leaving Russia's Northern Fleet headquarters of Severomorsk, Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) traveled around 4,000 kilometers (2,160 nautical miles) and entered the Atlantic Ocean.

During her six-month tour of duty, the warship is to pass through the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea before entering the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal.

The Pyotr Veliky will conduct maneuvers in the Indian Ocean with other ships from the Black Sea Fleet and will make port calls in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, the Russian Navy said.

Russia's largest and most powerful surface combatant warship, Pyotr Veliky has a displacement of between 24,000 and 26,000 tons, and a speed of up to 31 knots (almost 57 km/h). The ship is 251 meters in length and has a crew of more than 700 sailors.

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