New weapons transportation ship sets course towards Arctic bases
It is the first major Arctic voyage of the «Akademik Kovalyov», the Russian Navy informs as four Navy vessels on Tuesday set course towards icy Arctic waters. The flotilla is headed by destroyer «Vice Admiral Kulakov». Included are also rescue vessel «Pamir» and service ship «KIL-164». Later, several more ships will join, the Navy press service informs.
It is not clear what kind of weaponry, which is now onboard the «Akademik Kovalyov», nor to what extent it will be put ashore in the new bases. The ship, which was included in the Northern Fleet in December last year, is capable of transporting a wide range of armament, including up to eight Bulava missiles.
The ship has special ice-protected hulls enabling it to operate also in icy waters.
The Arctic flotilla will sail along the Northern Sea Route to Kotelny, the Navy base in the New Siberian Islands. The ships will also visit several of the other new and upgraded bases on Russia’s Arctic archipelagos, the Navy press release reads. Among them are the bases in the Wrangel Island and the Severnaya Zemlya.
The voyage is the fifth of its kind, the Navy informs. The first Northern Fleet expedition to Kotelny was organized in 2012, and was followed by a bigger operation in 2013 when when battle cruiser «Pyotr Veliky» brought equipment to the base and adjacent Temp airfield.