France's La Fayette-class frigate
French navy's frigate La Fayette sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, March 24, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is keeping a check on movement of French navy’s La Fayette-class frigate, Sputnik reported Friday, citing a military source.

The frigate is sailing toward the western part of the Black Sea, the source told Sputnik. It is capable of carrying air-defense missiles and holding Panther copters and heavy range helicopters.

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"The La Fayette class frigate, which entered the Black Sea the previous day, is currently moving to the west. The Black Sea Fleet's forces and detection devices are tracking the frigate's movement," the source told the Russian news agency.

On Thursday, French Ambassador to Bulgaria Eric Lebedel announced that the La Fayette-class frigate is entering the Black Sea. This follows growing tensions between Russia and NATO with both sides undergoing extensive military escalations in recent months.

The latest development also comes as French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian plans to start a $4 billion naval program ahead of the presidential election in the country in April and May.

French naval contractors DCNS and Thales Group are expected to take the project and deliver five 4,200-ton ships with the first scheduled for 2023. DCNS is known for naval equipment and ships, while Thales Group is a builder of electrical systems for defense and aerospace industries

Separately on Wednesday, Russia’s Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel-General Viktor Bondarev said the force will practice detecting ballistic missiles during launches carried out by the Strategic Missile Force.

"The Space Troops will team up with other branches and services of the Russian Armed Forces to practice detecting ballistic missiles, using the forces and resources of the (Special Designation) Aerospace Army during the demonstrative launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles by the Strategic Missile Force," Bondarev told Russian-language newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda. "For the purpose of building up the orbital grouping of satellites, 15 launches of space carrier rockets have been planned to deliver more than 20 satellites into orbit."