Northern Fleet sails out two frigates, one landing ship as NATO forces move north for exercise


They are the Russian navy’s newest large warships and both are armed with Tsirkon missiles, a hypersonic weapon with a said operational range of about 1,000 kilometers. Test flights of the missiles have not proven such distance.

Further west, outside the coast of northern Norway, warships from several NATO countries taking part in Steadfast Defender, the Alliance’s largest exercise in northern Europe in more than 30 years, are now sailing north for the Nordic Response, a Norway-led drill to train reinforcement inside the Arctic Circle in case of war.

Over 50 submarines, frigates, corvettes, an aircraft carrier and various amphibious vessels take part.

As the exercise soon kicks off in Finnmark region, the Norwegians are closely monitoring movements by Russia’s Northern Fleet. Friday morning, a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flew a mission outside the Kola Peninsula.

Earlier this week, a Russian Il-38 flew mission over the Barents Sea the Northern Fleet informed. A long-range maritime surveillance Tu-142 was near Svalbard, other sources said. 

Both NATO and Russian submarines are under the surface. Keeping track of each other is vital for situation awareness.

Frigate Admiral Gorshkov will conduct training, including tracking and searching for mock enemy submarines. The enemy role here will be performed by the Northern Fleet’s submarines in the Barents Sea, the headquarters in Severomorsk said. A similar note was published as Admiral Kasatonov entered the Barents Sea on Thursday.

The Northern Fleet earlier this week informed about its forces training coastal and landing operations with the Ivan Gren vessel. The exercise includes anti-underwater sabotage defense and practical navigation training in the Barents Sea’s coastal areas.