Navy Hits Target
Ocean with Supersonic Cruise Missile
Novosti) — The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has
effectively engaged a designated target with a supersonic
cruise missile as part of a Navy exercise in the northern
Atlantic, a Navy spokesman said.
guided-missile cruiser launched the P-500 Bazalt (NATO reporting
name SS-N-12 Sandbox), a liquid-propellant supersonic cruise
missile, last used in 2003.
Bazalt, which entered service in 1973, has a 550 km range and
a payload of 1,000 kg, enabling it to carry a 350 kT nuclear
or a 950kg semi-armor-piercing high explosive warhead.
A Joint Naval
Task Force, comprising the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier,
the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko,
as well as auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour
of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic.
missile system used for launches has no match in performance
terms," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, an aide to the Navy
commander, said Monday.
will also practice interoperability with naval aviation and
strategic bombers for several days.
is the first large-scale Russian Navy exercise in the Atlantic
for 15 years. All the warships and aircraft involved are carrying
full combat ammunition loads, the Navy said.
Nikolai Maksimov, commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet who
is heading the task force, earlier said that the current tour
of duty to the Mediterranean, which started on December 5,
was aimed at ensuring Russia’s naval presence "in key
operational areas of the world’s oceans" and establishing
conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation.