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40 Russian Warships, Fighter Jets, Helicopters Join Pacific Fleet Drills


Russia announced Tuesday that 40 warships, fighter jets and helicopters would be joining 10-day naval drills involving its Pacific Fleet and ground forces.

The planned naval exercises, set to run June 18 through June 28 in the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk, will see personnel practice anti-submarine operations. They will also defend ship detachments at sea; conduct joint missile strikes against groups of ships belonging to a hypothetical enemy; train to repel drone and unmanned attacks; and perform a set of practical training and combat exercises, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Russia's Pacific Fleet submarine
Russia’s Pacific Fleet submarine parades off the port city of Vladivostok during the Navy Day celebrations on July 30, 2023. The Russians announced Tuesday that 40 warships, fighter jets and helicopters would be joining 10-day…


PAVEL KOROLYOV/AFP/Getty Images

The drills will involve “40 ships, boats and support vessels” and about 20 naval aircraft and helicopters, the defense ministry added. The exercises will include long-range anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142M3, Il-38 and Il-38N, Ka-29 and Ka-27 helicopters, which will be involved in search-and-rescue options.

The drills are being held under the leadership of Admiral Viktor Liina, the commander of the Pacific Fleet, the statement said.

Russia routinely conducts naval drills. Last April, the Pacific Fleet carried out exercises that involved 25,000 personnel, 89 aircraft and helicopters, as well as 167 warships, including 12 submarines.

Those drills involved submarine searches on the approaches to Peter the Great Gulf on the southern coast of Primorsky Krai and Avacha Bay on the southeastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. There were other exercises in the Sea of Okhotsk and the “combat stability of strategic missile submarines and their readiness for the use of weapons was worked out,” former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the time.

Russia deployed warships and aircraft to the Caribbean Sea last week for planned military exercises—a move the U.S. has said it is not alarmed by. As part of the exercises, Russia’s nuclear-powered submarine Kazan and other naval vessels docked in the port of Havana on June 12 and left on Monday after a five-day stay.

The drills coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years.

The two nations have deepened their ties since Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022, and signed a new strategic partnership agreement on Wednesday.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un was cited by Russia’s state-run news agency Tass as saying that his nation “expresses full support and solidarity to the Russian government, army and people in carrying out a special military operation in Ukraine to protect sovereignty, security interests, as well as territorial integrity.”

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