Hardcore Russian Team: Kalibr-Armed Frigate to Join Naval Group Near Syria

Russia is sending its advanced Frigate Admiral Grigorovich armed with Kalibr cruise missiles to reinforce the aircraft carrier group near Syrian shores.

SEVASTOPOL (Sputnik) — Russia's Frigate Admiral Grigorovich armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will leave the port of Sevastopol to join the aircraft carrier group in Syria on Thursday, a source in Crimea's uniformed services told RIA Novosti.

"The Black Sea Fleet's latest missile frigate Admiral Grigorovich leaves the base today and heads to the Mediterranean Sea, where it will join the group of Russian ships on the Syrian coast," the source said.

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On October 15, Russia's Northern Fleet's press service said that a group of warships headed by the Admiral Kuznetsov accompanied by the Pyotr Veliky battle cruiser, the Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov anti-submarine destroyer and support vessels had been sent to the Mediterranean to hold drills and strengthen capabilities.

In service since March 10, the Admiral Grigorovich is the first of six planned Project 11356 frigates, three of which are due to be delivered to the Defense Ministry by 2017. The frigate left the Baltic Fleet base in the western seaport town of Baltiysk in late April for Sevastopol.

The trials of the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates were successfully completed in the Barents Sea in late 2015. The frigates, displacing 3,850 tonnes, are designed for anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare as well as for air defense missions, operating both independently or as part of convoys and naval task forces.

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Russia has been seeking to boost its naval presence in the Mediterranean. In October, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov disclosed plans to set up a permanent base in the Eastern Mediterranean seaport of Syrian Tartus.

Tartus hosted the Russian Navy maintenance and support facility since 1977. Currently, the Tartus facility is the Russian Navy’s only support base in the Mediterranean Sea. It continues to perform its designated mission. The Tartus facility is currently manned exclusively by civilians.

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