Ships of Russian Black Sea, Pacific Fleets to fight pirates together - Defense Ministry

Naval groups of the Russian Black Sea and Pacific Fleets will protect Russian vessels off the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden starting from the first ten days of December, a source at the Russian Defense Ministry told Interfax-AVN on Monday.

"A tactical group of warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet - the guard missile carrying cruiser Moskva and the large landing ship Saratov - passed through the Black Sea Straits Bosphorus and Dardanelles on November 6 and 11 and started to accomplish its mission in the Aegean Sea," the report said.

The ships are training joint maneuvering and air defense, while anti-terrorist groups from the separate marine brigade of the Black Sea Fleet are also practicing. The patrol ship Smetlivy and the tugboat MB-304 will join the group after Russian-Italian naval exercises Ionex 2012, which are taking place in the Italian port Taranto on Monday.

The large sea tanker Ivan Bubnov has reached the area of the group's presence in the Mediterranean Sea. The large landing ship Novocherkassk, which is currently performing its program in the Black Sea, will unite with the group soon.

The Defense Ministry also said that the Pacific Fleet group comprising the large anti-sub ship Marshal Shaposhnikov, the medium sea tanker Irkut and the tugboat Alatau are moving towards the Arabian Sea. They are due to reach the Horn of Africa in the first ten days of December.

In the course of its voyage, the group will have joint exercises with the Indian Navy and visit Mumbai. The ships will also visit the ports of Thailand, South Korea, Djibouti and the Seychelles.

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