Naval task force to Northern Sea Route

"Pyotr Veliky" at its home base Severomorsk

For the second time in two years Russia sends a naval task force along the Northern Sea Route in order to demonstrate military presence in the area.


A naval task force led by the Northern Fleet’s flag ship the nuclear-powered missile cruiser «Pyotr Veliky» yesterday left home base of Severomorsk and headed for the eastern Arctic.

-The campaign is part of the Ministry of Defence’s and the Naval Command’s initiative to fulfill the Russian state’s Arctic policy, Commander of the Northern Fleet Admiral Vladimir Korolyov says to the ministry’s web site. The aim is to support Russia’s status as a leading Arctic power, to strengthen the country’s security and ensure its economic interests in the area.

The vessel group will sail along the Northern Sea Route to the New Siberian Islands and carry out a number of training missions. There will be a landing operation drill on the island of Kotelny in the East Siberian Sea, TV Zvezda reports. The vessels will be escorted by nuclear-powered icebreaker, as ice conditions on parts of the route are expected to be difficult.

Watch video from the task force’s departure from Severomorsk on TV Zevzda.

The task force consists of more than ten vessels, including the large amphibious assault ships “Olenegorsky Gornyak” and “Kondopoga” and several support vessels.

This is the second year in row that Northern Fleet vessels sail on an Arctic mission. After a large-scale naval exercise which included more than 7000 people and some 20 vessels, personnel from the Northern Fleet conducted Russia’s first ever amphibious landing on the Arctic archipelago of the New Siberian Islands.

Russia plans to send a second naval vessel group to the Arctic sometime in course of the year. That group will sail to the archipelago Franz Josef Land in an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the expedition to the North Pole of the Russian Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov, as reported earlier by BarentsObserver.