Northern Fleet ships start exercises in the Arctic
© RIA Novosti. Vitaly Ankov

Northern Fleet ships start exercises in the Arctic

A unit of ships and support vessels of the Northern Fleet (NF) left Severomorsk on August 30 and is now bound for the Arctic. Head of the NF press service Vadim Serga said the goal of the exercises is to ensure the safety of Russia's sea navigation and maritime economic activities in the region.

The unit includes Vice-Admiral Kulakov, a large ASW ship and support vessels —   the rescue tug Pamir and the KIL-164 AHTS. The cutting edge armament support ship Academician Kovalev, which joined the NF late last year, will take part in the exercises for the first time.

RIA Novosti quotes Serga as saying: "The main goal of the long-distant voyage is to build Russia's naval presence in strategic areas of the world ocean and to ensure the safety of its sea navigation and other types of maritime economic activities."

He said the ships will follow the Northern Sea Route up to the New Siberian Islands, conduct a number of exercises on the way and at NF bases on Arctic islands. The unit will be joined by other NF warships in designated places, Serga said.

At certain stages the unit of ships is expected to be accompanied by Rosatom's nuclear icebreakers.