On July 1st, Russian warships carried out a live fire training exercise in the Black Sea, as Ukraine and NATO countries hold the Sea Breeze 2021 drills in the same wider area.
Russia’s Black Sea fleet said in a statement carried by the Interfax news agency that the crews of two large landing ships had fired at sea and air targets in the Black Sea.
In separate comments, Russia’s defence ministry said it was tracking an Italian navy frigate after it entered the Black Sea on July 1st, Interfax reported.
The drill came two days after the air defense system was tested in Crimea against the backdrop of the Sea Breeze NATO exercise. The test was announced by the head of the information support department of the Black Sea Fleet (Black Sea Fleet) Captain Second Rank Alexei Rulev.
According to him, during the check, Su-30SM, Su-27 fighters, as well as Su-24 bombers and combat helicopters acted as control targets for the S-400 air defense systems. Also, the crews of aircraft and helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet conducted training with the divisions of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and the Pantsir complexes, he said.
Aviation performed the task both at the maximum distance from the detection zones of radar stations, and at ultra-low altitudes.
Sea Breeze 2021 will last two weeks and involve about 5,000 military personnel from NATO and other allies, and around 30 ships and 40 aircraft, with U.S. missile destroyer USS Ross and the U.S. Marine Corps taking part.
The spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova said that the exercise has two goals – to destabilize the situation along the perimeter of the Russian border, and to transfer various types of equipment and weapons to the territory of Ukraine.
Separately, rocket firing of ships of the permanent formation of the Russian Navy will took place in the Mediterranean Sea. The exercises will take place several dozen kilometers from the UK Navy’s flagship, the Queen Elizabeth II aircraft carrier.
The exercises took place on June 26, specifies RIA Novosti. The area of the Mediterranean Sea south of the island of Cyprus will be closed for them. Also south of Cyprus, from June 1 to June 30, a group of British ships operates. There will be about 30 kilometers between the northern border of the Russian exercise zone and the Queen Elizabeth area.
Joint maneuvers of the forces of the permanent task force of the Navy and aviation of the Aerospace Forces in the Mediterranean Sea began on June 25. The maneuvers involved 5 ships, two submarines, aircraft carriers of MiG-31K hypersonic missiles, and long-range Tu-22M3 bombers.
Meanwhile, having completed their mission in the Black Sea, the British destroyer HMS Defender and the Dutch Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen passed the Bosphorus Strait on a course to the Mediterranean Sea on June 2.
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