Russian Warship Sails to Baltic Sea for NATO Naval Drills
MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Kaliningrad amphibious assault landing ship from Russia’s Baltic Fleet has set sail for the Baltic Sea to take part in the BALTOPS 2012 naval drills on June 1-16, the press service of the Western military district said.
The Kaliningrad left its home base in Baltiisk in Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on Thursday to join over 20 surface ships and some 20 aircraft from NATO countries in a variety of training missions, including anti-submarine warfare, sea rescue and counter-terrorism.
BALTOPS is an annual military exercise held in the Baltic Sea and surrounding regions since 1971. Since 1993 it has been a major contributor to the NATO program Partnership for Peace.
Warships from Russia’s Baltic Fleet previously took part in BALTOPS exercises 19 times.
The Kaliningrad vessel entered service in December 1984 and has carried out a number of training missions in the Baltic, North and Mediterranean seas, as well as in the Atlantic Ocean.
Kaliningrad class ships are capable of carrying up to 500 tons of cargo, 13 tanks and more than 200 naval infantry.
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