Russian Black Sea Fleet frigate calls at Cyprus in Mediterranean deployment

The Black Sea Fleet frigate Admiral Makarov has called at the Cypriot port of Limassol in its Mediterranean deployment, the Fleet’s press office reported on Thursday.

“The Black Sea Fleet frigate Admiral Makarov accomplishing missions as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent taskforce in the distant maritime zone has made a business call at the port of Limassol in the Republic of Cyprus. The Black Sea Fleet ship will replenish necessary supplies while the crew will go on a tour of the city’s historical sites in their free time,” the press office said in a statement.

After replenishing the necessary supplies, the ship’s crew will continue accomplishing missions as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean taskforce, the statement says.

Before that, the frigate held drills as part of the Black Sea Fleet’s naval group with the Algerian Navy to practice joint measures for ensuring safety at sea, during which the ships’ crews exercised control of civilian shipping with inspections of the vessels suspected of piracy and illegal economic activity.

The Admiral Makarov is the third Project 11356 blue-water frigate named after Imperial Russian Navy Commander, Oceanographer and Vice-Admiral Stepan Makarov. The latest frigate was delivered to the Navy and the naval flag was hoisted on the warship on December 27, 2017.

The Project 11356 frigates have a displacement of 4,000 tonnes, a length of 124.8 meters, a speed of 30 knots and their sea endurance is 30 days. They are armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, Shtil-1 surface-to-air missile complexes, A-190 100mm artillery guns, air defense artillery, rocket launchers and torpedoes and can also carry a deck-based Kamov Ka-27 (or Ka-31) helicopter.

The Soviet Navy’s 5th Mediterranean Squadron served as a prototype for the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean taskforce operating at present. The 5th operational Soviet Squadron dealt with the tasks of naval presence in the Mediterranean theater of operations during the Cold War period.

Its main rival was the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. The Soviet Squadron was disbanded on December 31, 1992, a year after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

As it emerged in 2013, Russia was creating a new operational Mediterranean taskforce in its modern history. Russia’s new permanent taskforce is dealing with planned and emergency combat missions arising in the Mediterranean theater of operations, including warding off threats for Russia’s national and military security.