20 warships sail out for new Barents Sea exercise
Both planes and helicopters will be in the air working together with the surface ships and a few submarines, according to the press service of the Northern Fleet.
The warships sail out from bases on the Kola Peninsula, while a few larger ships, like the battlecruiser “Pyotr Velikiy” and “Marshal Ustinov” are still at sea after they left port in Severomorsk for another exercise in late May.
NATO warships have in the course of the last few weeks conducted exercise Formidable Shield, training missile defence outside the coast of northern Norway
For the Northern Fleet, the plan is to assess practical skills in combat with live firing of different weapons systems, defending Russia’s Arctic coastline from imaginary enemy submarines and various missiles.
As recently reported by the Barents Observer, Russian Northern Fleet Commander, Admiral Aleksandr Moiseyev, named NATO’s increased presence up north “provocative” and said it “threatens security” in the Arctic.
Taking consequences of the increased military traffic at sea and in the air, Norway and Russia are soon to sign an updated protocol under the Incidents at Sea Agreement. The protocol stipulates how to avoid dangerous aircraft and warship encounters, as well as keeping good lines for communication open as a measure not to create misunderstandings or unpredictable escalations.