Text: RIA Novosti
Photo: Guard missile cruiser Varyag. Pacific Fleet Information Support Group
The courtesy visit of Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit headed by Guard missile cruiser Varyag to Japanese port Maizuru is held in the atmosphere of kindness and hospitality, reported RIA Novosti citing PF Commander's press secretary Capt 1 rank Roman Martov.
After termination of large-scale naval exercise off Kamchatka, PF task unit consisting of the fleet's flagship cruiser Varyag, tanker Irkut, and sea-going tug MB-66 started a long-range cruise and is going to visit Japan, the US, and Canada. The cruise is held under command of Capt 1 rank Sergei Zhuga. On Sept 25, the task unit called at Japanese port Maizuru (Honshu island) paying a courtesy visit.
"Russian military delegation laid wreath at the memorial to Japanese mariners died on duty. Then the parties held planning conference of the SAREX exercise. In the evening of Sept 25 command of naval base Maizuru gave a banquette on board host ship destroyer Akebono", said the interviewee.
As for him, on Sept 26 PF official delegation paid a courtesy visit to Maizuru mayor and then continued bilateral consultations on the coming SAREX exercise. Russian and Japanese mariners played a friendly soccer game.
"The return banquette will be given to Japanese servicemen and Maizuru authorities on board Guard missile cruiser Varyag", said the interviewee.
This is the second call of Russian ships at Maizuru, said Martov. In 2006 the port was visited by PF task unit headed by large ASW ship Admiral Panteleyev.
"Upon termination of the visit, the task unit will head for Mariana Islands to attend the Pacific Eagle joint anti-terror exercise along with American counterparts. Four years ago PF large ASW ship Marshall Shaposhnikov visited the islands and attended the anti-piracy maneuvers", Martov said.
According to him, at the final stage of the cruise Russian servicemen will pay informal visit to Canadian port Vancouver. The task unit is expected to return at PF main naval base Vladivostok early in Dec 2011.
Present-day missile cruiser Varyag is a successor of the same-named legendary ship which crew won glory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) during sea battle at Chemulpo. Missile cruiser Varyag is armed with powerful multipurpose missile attack system capable to hit sea- and land surface targets at considerable distances.
Also, the ship is armed with ASW rocket launchers, torpedo tubes, and various gun mounts. NATO dubbed Russian ships of this type as "flattop killers".