Russian carrier group starts drills in Mediterranean

Russian carrier group starts drills in Mediterranean

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Russian carrier group that entered the Mediterranean earlier this month has begun a series of naval aviation exercise, a navy spokesman said Friday, Jan 24, according to RIA Novosti.

“The naval aviators are conducting training in dogfighting, high-speed interception and improving their skills in flying intricate aerobatic maneuvers,” captain of the 1st Class Vadim Serga said.

Russia formed a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean last year to defend its interests in the region. The move was widely seen as a response to calls for international intervention in the worsening civil war in Syria, Russia’s longtime ally.

The group of ships, led by Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, is currently located in waters near Spain’s Balearic Islands.

In August, Russian media quoted a military source saying a group of Russian warships on a long-distance cruise would soon call at the country’s only Mediterranean naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus.

The Admiral Kuznetsov led another group of ships to that facility two years ago.

Serga said that over 20 training flights by the ship’s Su-33 Flanker-D fighter jets were planned.

The group, dispatched by Russia’s Northern Fleet, was escorted by a British destroyer as it approached Scotland last month.

Related links:
 Top stories
Carter said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi Defense Minister in Brussels next week.
The meeting takes place as talks have begun in Geneva to try to end the five-year Syrian civil war, which has killed at least 250,000 people.
"There is no denial that we are dealing with very significant risks," he said, during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The Pentagon says IS has lost 20-30% of the total territory they were in control of in Iraq and Syria, including up to 40% in Iraq alone.
Partner news