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Russian nuclear submarine makes 30-day trip under Arctic ice

Russian nuclear submarine makes 30-day trip under Arctic ice 01.10.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

A Russian warship from the Black Sea Fleet has entered the Aegean Sea and is heading toward the Italian coast to participate in joint naval exercises with the Italian navy, a fleet spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The Ladny, a Krivak class guided missile frigate, will participate in the biennial IONIEX-2008 exercises with the Italian navy," the spokesman said.

Ladny participated in August in NATO's antiterrorist Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean.

In 2007, Russian naval ships took part in nine joint exercises with foreign navies, including Blackseafor - with the participation of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia - and Open Spirit 2007, involving Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belgium, France, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia.

However, NATO suspended or cancelled a number of joint exercises this year following a brief military conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia in August.

A Russian Delta-III class ballistic missile submarine has successfully sailed from a naval base in northern Russia to the Pacific Ocean under the Arctic ice floe, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The Ryazan strategic nuclear submarine arrived at a naval base on the Kamchatka Peninsula after a more than 30-day underwater trip," Capt. 1st rank Igor Dygalo said.

Ryazan is a Project 667BDR (Delta III class) strategic nuclear submarine, which entered service with Russia's Northern Fleet in 1982. It has a crew of 130 and can travel underwater without coming to the surface for up to 90 days.

The submarine is armed with 16 R-29RM (SS-N-23 Skiff) ballistic missiles with a range of 8,000 km (about 5,000 miles).

Commenting on the submarine's successful mission, Russian Navy Commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said it had reaffirmed the Russian submarine fleet's ability to conduct strategic missions in the Arctic.

"The Navy continues to play an important role in safeguarding Russia's maritime economic and research activity throughout the world, including in the Arctic," the admiral said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the Ryazan, which was previously part of Russia's Northern Fleet, will be reassigned to the Pacific Fleet and will patrol the Pacific Ocean on a regular basis.

With the addition of the Ryazan SSBN, Russia's Pacific Fleet will have 10 Delta III class ballistic missile submarines in service.

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