Northern Fleet units to take part in upcoming Russian-Norwegian exercise
© Igor Zarembo

Northern Fleet units to take part in upcoming Russian-Norwegian exercise

Russian Navy Northern Fleet rescue ships and aircraft are to take part in the annual Russian-Norwegian Barents exercise, RIA Novosti reports, quoting the fleet press service.

"This year, the Northern Fleet's rescue tug Nikolai Chiker, the new multirole modular speedboat Spasatel Kononenko, as well as search-and-rescue aircraft, will take part in the annual Russian-Norwegian Barents exercise in the Russian zone of responsibility," the press service said.

The exercises should help streamline high-seas search and rescue operations and oil spill prevention methods in conditions of the Arctic region's rapid industrial development.

The exercise will include units from the Murmansk division of the high-seas rescue operations coordinating center from the Russian Administration of Western Arctic Seaports, the high-seas rescue service of Russia's Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot) and the State Air Traffic Management Corporation. Each exercise also involves Rosmorport, the northern search and rescue expeditionary unit and the Federal Security Service's border-control directorate for the Murmansk Region.

"Norway will use ships, boats, Coastal Administration and Royal Navy Coast Guard ships, and some patrol aircraft from Royal Norwegian Air Force bases. Norwegian air traffic control centers and agencies in northern coastal cities and other state agencies will also take part," press service sources added.

The Barents exercise is the only annual Arctic search and rescue exercise involving Russia and Norway under a bilateral inter-governmental cooperation agreement of October 4, 1995 stipulating joint search and rescue operations in the Barents Sea.