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Black Sea boiling: US missile cruiser enters waters as Russian Navy monitors NATO drills

Published time: July 07, 2014 18:43
A view of U.S. Navy cruiser Vella Gulf in the Black Sea port of Constanta June 5, 2014. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel)

A view of U.S. Navy cruiser Vella Gulf in the Black Sea port of Constanta June 5, 2014. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel)

US missile cruiser Vella Gulf has reportedly entered the Black Sea, joining six other vessels for NATO’s naval drills. Meanwhile, Russia is having its own exercises in the sea, keeping a watchful eye on the alliance’s war games.

At about 18:20, the USS Vella Gulf passed the strait and entered the Black Sea,” a source in the Russian Navy's Main Staff told Itar-Tass on Monday. “The number of NATO ships in the Black Sea has thus increased to seven.”

The official reason for the American Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruiser entering the Black Sea, the source said, was the participation in an exercise of NATO mine-clearing forces.

The Russian naval official said he was bewildered by the American cruiser’s participation.“It’s like putting a horse and a deer to the same cart,” he said ironically.

A multi-mission cruiser, Vella Gulf, which is 173 meters in length and carries up to 400 crewmembers aboard, is capable of sustained combat operations in any combination of air, surface, undersea, and strike warfare environments. Equipped with four powerful gas turbine engines, it can develop the speed of over 30 knots. According to online sources, the vessel’s weapons include SM-2 surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, torpedoes, Phalanx Close-in Weapons Systems for self-defense against aircraft and missiles, and five-inch, rapid fire guns.

The American missile cruiser was visiting the port of Constanta in Romania from late May till mid-June.

Large anti-submarine combat ship "Kerch" of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)

Earlier Monday, a military diplomatic source told the agency that the Russian Navy will monitor NATO’s Sea Breeze maneuvers in the Black Sea. Most of Russia’s Black Sea fleet is out at sea as its commander ordered a massive naval exercise the length and breadth of the area.

The Russian fleet has been ordered to “monitor all movements and activities of the NATO naval task force, which are, actually speaking, already well known.

The major group of NATO battleships, rotational Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2), has spent several days training at the Bulgarian port of Burgas in first stage of the Breeze drill this year led by the Bulgarian Navy.

On Sunday afternoon the ships left the Bulgarian port of Burgas and headed into the open sea for training in the southwest Black Sea.

The group consists of flagship Italian Navy frigate ITS Aviere, accompanied by Italian minesweeper ITS Rimini, Turkish minesweeper TCG Akça, British minesweeper HMS Chiddingfold and Greek Corvette Macitis.

French intelligence ship Dupuy de Lome is continuing electronic surveillance near Russia’s North Caucasus coast. It replaced another French stealth frigate, Surcouf, which was on a similar mission near the Crimean peninsula in June.

There was yet another NATO reconnaissance ship in the Black Sea, Italy’s Elettra, which operated close to Russian shores, but she had to leave after the maximum 21 day presence in the area for non-regional battleships expired Sunday.

In the meantime some 20 Russian warships, over 20 airplanes and helicopters, as well as the marines and coast artillery are taking part in the Black Sea Fleet exercise. The war games launched the same day as NATO's military drill in the area, on July 4. The ships taking part in the drills are operating from two locations, the port of Sevastopol in the Crimea peninsula and the port of Novorossiysk in Russia’s Northern Caucasus.

Comments (127)

 

Adam Fisk 30.08.2014 22:59

@revealsins2me

Actually, the US currently has the world's biggest economy, which is on the uprise like a rocket. In the past four and a half years, our economy has created almost 10 million new jobs, so don't kid yourself. Our society is in solid shape and our military, especially with the backing of our NATO friends, is more than capable of handling anything Putin wants to throw at us. We did this for 45 years and didn't back down once. Trust me, we're not going to back down this time either.

 

Adam Fisk 30.08.2014 22:49

revealsins2me 08.08.2014 09:54

sit back Russia and watch the fireworks do not worry about all these attempts to lure you into combat.

it is done from desperation America is on the brink of complete economic collapse and the people will not suffer it lightly.

yo u do not have to harm America it is its own worst enemy.

  


 

revealsins2me 08.08.2014 09:54

sit back Russia and watch the fireworks do not worry about all these attempts to lure you into combat.

it is done from desperation America is on the brink of complete economic collapse and the people will not suffer it lightly.

yo u do not have to harm America it is its own worst enemy.

View all comments (127)
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