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Russian carrier-based fighters exercise over Atlantic

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A Russian naval group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, en route to the Mediterranean, conducted a series of training flights over the Celtic Sea, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian naval group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, en route to the Mediterranean, conducted a series of training flights over the Celtic Sea, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday.

Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said Su-33 ship-based fighters had flown a total of 10 sorties.

The naval group left the Northern Fleet base in Severomorsk on December 5 and set course for the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

In addition to the Admiral Kuznetsov, it includes the Admiral Levchenko destroyer and a support ship and will begin a visit to Lisbon on Friday.

Following the visit, the task force will pass through the Strait of Gibraltar, visit several ports in the Mediterranean, and exercise jointly with Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Another naval task force from the Northern Fleet, led by the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered cruiser, is currently on a tour of duty in the Caribbean. The Admiral Chabanenko destroyer and two support ships from this task force will visit Cuba on December 19-23.

Meanwhile, a task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet, comprising the Admiral Vinogradov, an Udaloy class destroyer, a tugboat, and two tankers, is in the South China Sea heading for the Indian Ocean to take part in the INDRA-2009 joint naval drills with the Indian navy.

Russia announced last year that its navy had resumed and would build up a constant presence in different parts of the world's oceans.

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