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Russian Kilo-Class Sub May Surface Through NATO Anti-Submarine Exercise

The Kilo-class Vladikavkaz is en route to St. Petersburg from the Kola Peninsula.

On Tuesday, NATO kicks off its annual anti-submarine exercise Dynamic Mongoose in the Norwegian Sea west of Andøya, northern Norway.

Six frigates, 10 aircraft and several submarines from Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as well as host nation Norway, will participate in the drill that will last until July 14.

Among them are ships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group One (SNMG1), which is sailing north directly after completing the annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS). The navy group consists of U.S. flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, British frigate HMS Westminster and Turkish frigate TCG Gokova, NATO said.

While NATO is preparing the anti-submarine warfare exercises, Russia's Northern Fleet submarine Vladikavkaz has sailed out from Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula and is right now en route south toward St. Petersburg where it will take part in the annual naval parade.

The state-run Rossiiskaya Gazeta quoted the head of the Northern Fleet’s press service, Vadim Serga, as saying that Vladikavkaz will sail in surface position all the way through the Barents and Norwegian Seas.

Also, during the transition, the diesel-electric submarine will practice rescue exercises.

In March, Interfax reported that in addition to the diesel-electric Kilo-class submarine, another nuclear-powered submarine from the Northern Fleet would sail to St. Petersburg for the naval parade. The report did not specify which submarine, and no further information has been made public.

Over the last few years, the Northern Fleet has regularly sailed a nuclear-submarine to the naval parade in St. Petersburg.

Last year, the Oscar-II class “Orel” participated and in 2017, the Typhoon class “Dmitry Donskoy” became the largest submarine ever to sail into the Baltic Sea. Both submarines sailed in surface position while in transition along the coast of Norway.

In addition to Vladikavkaz, several other ships from the Northern Fleet will be in St. Petersburg, including the newest frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which will soon sail across the Atlantic after recent visits to China and Cuba.

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