September 12, 2013

The Russian Northern Fleet Takes "A Trek" Along the Northern Sea Route

According to the Russian language web site "TV Star" (with the aid of Google Translate, plus a bit of poetic licence on my part):

On the personal order of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu troop ships of the Northern Fleet, led by the cruiser "Peter the Great" are making a trip through the Arctic. They have already passed the Kara Gate – between the islands of Novaya Zemlya and Vaygach. During the trek the crews of the missile cruiser and of the large amphibious ships "Olenegorsky miner" and "Kondopoga" will be improving seamanship and getting trained in rescue operations in the Arctic regions.

The Northern Fleet have just missed a great training opportunity, since according to the Barents Observer they have just sailed strait past the stricken diesel tanker Nordvik, accompanied by no less than four nuclear icebreakers!

A group consisting of ten different vessels from the Northern Fleet and led by the heavy missile cruiser "Peter the Great" yesterday sailed through the Matisen Strait north of the Taymyr Peninsula. The group was escorted by no less than four of Atomflot’s nuclear-powered icebreakers, among them the two largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world, “50 Years of Victory” and “Yamal”. Also the two shallow-water nuclear icebreakers “Vaygach” and “Taymyr” were put in to escort the world’s largest battlecruiser through the crumbling ice.

Nuclear icebreakers escorting Russia's heavy missile cruiser "Peter the Great" along the Northern Sea Route. (Photo:

Nuclear icebreakers escorting Russia's heavy missile cruiser "Peter the Great" along the Northern Sea Route. (Photo:

Click the image to watch a Russian language video of them all in action. According to "TV Star" once again:

The fourth "Peter the Great"  in a row is a third generation heavy nuclear missile cruiser. In 2011 it was the world's largest non aircraft carrier shock warship. Its main purpose – the destruction of  enemy aircraft carrier groups.

It rather sounds as though ministering to tankers in distress isn't part of Peter's job description!

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Comments on The Russian Northern Fleet Takes "A Trek" Along the Northern Sea Route »

September 13, 2013

Jim @ 9:48 am

Russia Today reports this morning, not unexpectedly in all the circumstances, that:

The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea – particularly in the area close to Syrian shores – to up to 10 battleships.

Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov said that:

The task is crystal clear: to avoid a slightest threat to the security of the state. This is a general practice of all fleets around the world, to be there when a tension level increases. They are all going to act on operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone. Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set.

In amongst reciting a long list of relocating Russian ships Admiral Chirkov pointed out that:

A group of 10 warships and support vessels accompanied by four nuclear icebreakers right now are training on the Northern Sea Route. This task group is headed by Russia’s most powerful battleship and the flagship of the Northern Fleet, cruiser ‘Pyotr Veliky’ (Peter the Great).

Peter the Great anchored in ice free waters (Image Grigoriy Sisoev/RIA Novosti)

For the first time ever all Russia’s nuclear surface ships – heavy nuclear missile cruiser ‘Pyotr Veliky' and nuclear icebreakers ‘Yamal’, ‘Vaigach’, ‘Taimyr’ and ‘50 Let Pobedy’, were combining to perform a joint task. The icebreakers assisted the taskforce to pass the strait between the Taimyr Peninsula and the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, and now the group is continuing to move forward to the east, crossing the Laptev Sea.

Do you suppose that the Mediterranean will be a subsequent stop on Peter the Great's hastily arranged world tour?

September 19, 2013

Jim @ 12:39 pm

According to the Barents Observer once again:

A heavily equipped Northern Fleet mission is setting up a base on the New Siberian Islands, a key site along the Northern Sea Route.

According to military sources, the new base will protect offshore oil and gas resources in the area and keep an eye on the growing number of ships sailing along the Northern Sea Route.

In a video conference with President Vladimir Putin this week, Northern Fleet Head Commander Vladimir Korolev confirmed that three Navy vessels, including the “Peter the Great” missile cruiser, as well as seven support vessels and four nuclear-powered icebreakers are involved in the operations.

The vessels arrived on site on September 12 and by September 29 all equipment, including Navy base personnel, will be brought on land by helicopters and support vessels. The base will include representatives of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, meteorologists and climate researchers.

The Island of Kotelny in the period 1933-1993 housed a research station and military base. Remains of the decades of Soviet presence at the island is overwhelming. Significant volumes of abandoned military equipment and metal scrap is covering major parts of the island. According to TV-station Zvezda, there is a total of more than 60 thousand rusting oil barrels left on site.

The revival of the base comes after the signing of a decree by President Putin.

October 3, 2013

Jim @ 9:55 am

With more help from Google Translate, Rosatomflot reports that:

On September 30th a squadron of ships of the Northern Fleet led by the heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser "Peter the Great" returned from a long voyage to the Arctic.

According to Deputy General Director of Fleet Operations Andrei Smirnov, the operation was quite difficult. "The fact that the Northern Fleet returned to the Arctic is a significant event. For us, this is proof that if required our fleet of icebreakers needed can perform such complex state issues."

Andrey said that the main difficulty of the campaign this year was the difficult ice conditions in the Arctic along the Northern Sea Route, particularly in Mathisen Strait and on the approaches to the Straits of Celebes.

During the long cruise the ships traveled more than 4,000 nautical miles, operating in the Laptev Sea, the Kara and Barents Seas. During the entire duration of their voyage the detachment was accompanied by nuclear-powered icebreakers "Yamal", "50 Years of Victory", "Taimyr" and "Vaygach".

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