Russian Black Sea fleet ship to take part in joint naval drills with Italy

The Smetlivy anti-submarine ship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will leave its home port of Sevastopol later on Sunday and head to the Mediterranean Sea to prepare for the Ioniex 2011 Russian-Italian naval exercise, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The drill will take place in early November, he said.

The Ioniex exercise is held every two years as part of the cooperation program between the Russian and Italian navies.

The Smetlivy, a Kashin class guided missile destroyer, was built in the 1960s and modernized in the mid-1990s. The ship is equipped with (SS-N-25 Switchblade, Harpoonski) short-range surface-to-surface cruise missiles and MNK-300 sonar.

Russia’s rescue ship Epron will also be involved in the drill, the spokesman added.

In 2010, the Ladny frigate and Shakhtyor rescue tug of the Black Sea Fleet participated in the Ioniex exercise.


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