A nuclear-powered cruiser will be on-call to protect Sochi Olympics

The nuclear-powered Russiancruiser ship Petr Veliky is likely to be stationed to respond if necessary to protect the safety of the Sochi Olympic Games this winter, Russian military sources say.

Although the Russian Navy has not officially confirmed the ship’s future task, a source close to the Russian Navy’s general headquarters has suggested the possibility that the ship would be stationed in the Mediterranean during the Games.

In addition, documents from Rosoboronpostavka, the Russian agency for the procurement of military equipment, support the suggestion. The paperwork indicates that the ship’s electronic equipment is in the process of being upgraded to “to support the events in Sochi in 2014.”

As part of the modernization, Projects 1124, 1124M, 1144 and 1155 ships will have their MG-7 submarine and saboteur sonar detection stations replaced with the improved MG-757 Anapa. Project 1144 is represented by only one ship in the Navy – the nuclear cruiser Petr Veliky.

The ship will likely be anchored in the Mediterranean because the presence of a ship with a nuclear power is not possible in the Black Sea (nor in the Baltic Sea), because of international maritime agreements, according to Viktor Kravchenko, the former head of the Navy’s general headquarters. Kravchenko said that underwater sabotage was highly unlikely – no country has boycotted the Games, and Russia does not have relations with any countries that would conduct such malicious acts.

However, we should not rule out the possibility of the Petr Veliky being used to ensure security of the Winter Olympic Games, said Rear Admiral Vladimir Zakharov.

“The ship may remain in the Mediterranean, and this will be sufficient. From this location, Petr Veliky can cover all distant approaches to the Sochi area. This is very possible, as these ships have been created for such tasks,” Zakharov said.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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