Russian missile cruiser Varyag returns home after Pacific trip

A Russian Pacific Fleet’s task force, led by the missile cruiser Varyag, returns to its home base in Vladivostok on Friday, the fleet’s spokesman said.

The task force, which also includes the Irkut tanker and a salvage tugboat, set sail for a tour-of-duty in the Pacific on September 20.

“The solemn meeting of the vessels will take place at the Zolotoi Rog [Golden Horn] Bay,” the spokesman said.

During the tour, the task force visited the port of Maizuru in Japan, the U.S. Mariana Islands and paid a four-day visit at the Canadian port of Vancouver. It also took part in the Pacific Eagle-2011 exercise with the U.S. Navy.

Varyag, the flagship of the Russian pacific Fleet, is a Slava class missile cruiser designed as a surface strike ship with some anti-air and ASW capability. The sixteen SS-N-12 Sandbox nuclear-capable supersonic anti-ship missiles are mounted in four pairs on either side of the superstructure, giving the ship a distinctive appearance.

NATO experts have dubbed Russian combat ships of this class “the killer of aircraft carriers,” as they can launch 1,000 kg of high-explosives or a tactical nuclear warhead to a range of 300 miles.


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