The Russians have landed

An impressive display of Russian seafaring power made its appearance this weekend in Walvis Bay.

28 March 2017 | Local News

The Russian Navy made a historical visit to the port of Walvis Bay over the weekend. The Severomorsk anti-submarine warfare destroyer, accompanied by the medium sea tanker Dubna and rescue tug boat Altay arrived in the port on Saturday at 14:00.

The Russian Northern Fleet’s press service said on Saturday,

“The warship’s command has paid protocol visits to Namibia’s navy and defence ministry, the mayor of Walvis Bay and diplomats of the Russian embassy in Namibia.

The commodore of the March Captain of the 1st Rank Commander Stanislav Varik, the Russian ambassador to Namibia Alexander Khudin and captains of the accompanying vessels paid courtesy calls to the Mayor Immanuel Wilfred and the port captain, Lukas Kufuna on Sunday.

They shared information on the vessels and their mission, and also exchanged gifts. The Russian sailors met with their Namibian counterparts and were afforded an opportunity to do some sightseeing during the visit. Members of the public could also board Severomorsk for a brief tour on Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00.

Commander Varik said the visit served the purpose of strengthening cooperation between Russia and Namibia in view of a number of global threats. He also said that he was impressed with the well-equipped port and its facilities and expressed the hope that more Russian vessels would call in the foreseeable future.

Severomorsk left Russia on November 16 last year. Its 130-member crew provided security to the Northern Fleet vessel grouping headed by the “Admiral of the Soviet Union Fleet Kuznetsov” [a heavy-aircraft-carrying cruiser] during combat operations involving air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups near the Syrian coast.

The ship also participating in the AMAN 2017 naval exercise which took place in the Arabian Sea and at a Pakistani naval base between 9 and 15 February.

The crew conducted different exercises and successfully detected foreign submarines using deck-based aviation during the trip.

Severomorsk carries an impressive arsenal of weapons and fire power. It is equipped with two, four-container Rastrub rocket torpedo launchers, 6-26 mines, eight Kinzhal SAM systems (carrying 64 missiles), one coupled 100-mm artillery gun AK-100, four six-barrelled 30-mm machine guns AK-630M and RBU-6000 ASW rocket launchers. The vessel also accommodates two KA-27 helicopters.

A task unit consisting of Severomorsk, a tanker Yelnya, and rescue tug SB-406 performed an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden from 8 May until 24 October 2011 and escorted 11 international convoys with 41 vessels including Russian ones. The crew covered over 30 000 nautical miles and visited the ports of Portugal, Greece, Djibouti, Syria, and Spain during this time.

OTIS FINCK

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