VLADIVOSTOK, November 3 (RIA Novosti) - A task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, led by the Udaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, has departed on an new anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast, the fleet’s spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.
The task force, which also includes the Irkut tanker and the Alatau rescue tug boat, will make an official visit to the port of Mumbai in India and conduct joint drills with the Indian navy on the way to the Gulf of Aden.
“The Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer has two Ka-27 naval helicopters and a unit of naval infantry on board,” Martov said on Friday.
During its first anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden in 2010, Marshal Shaposhnikov freed a Russian tanker hijacked by Somali pirates.
Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.
Russian warships have successfully escorted hundreds of commercial vessels from various countries through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since 2008, when Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region.
Russia has recently asked France to allow the deployment of two Ilyushin Il-38 naval reconnaissance planes at a French base in Djibouti to facilitate its anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.