The flagship Moskva cruiser of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has successfully test-fired a cruise missile in the Atlantic Ocean, the Russian defense ministry announced Thursday. The Moskva and three other warships, including the Pytlivy escort ship, the Shakhtyor rescue tug and the Ivan Bubnov tanker, are reportedly currently located in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Angola.
“The crew of the Moskva fired a rocket with its main systems toward a targeted position imitating a surface vessel. The cruise missile successfully struck the target,” Russia’s Sputnik News quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.
As part of the defense drill, the Moskva missile cruiser fired the Fort antiaircraft missile system and other naval guns on an airborne target, while the Pytlivy crew also reportedly conducted firing exercises, and hit a surface and an aerial target.
“A sea battle was one of the main exercise elements in which the Moskva crew test-fired a missile on a target simulating a surface ship,” Captain Vyacheslav Trukhachev, a spokesman for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, told TASS news agency. “The Kamov KA-27PS helicopter of the Moskva cruiser deck-based aircraft was used to verify the firing exercise efficiency.”
Thursday’s announcement came weeks after Trukhachev announced that the country’s Black Sea Fleet -- led by Moskva -- would soon begin a mission in the Atlantic Ocean. The Moskva cruiser last visited the Atlantic in 2013, one year before Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based.
In May, Russia expressed concerns over a U.S.-led NATO missile defense drill in the Atlantic, saying that the drill would simulate the interception of Russian ballistic missiles.
Meanwhile, Russia is also reportedly working on a multipurpose missile launcher, which will be equipped on new warships for the Russian navy, and will be able to fire ship-borne missiles of different classes from a single launching tube.