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    LARGE-SCALE EXERCISES ARE GOING ON IN THE BARENTS SEA

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    SEVEROMORSK, February 17, 2004. Large-scale exercises are going on in the Barents Sea within the framework of the strategic command training.

    According to the North Fleet headquarters, the main aim of the manoeuvres is to check the combat readiness of the Navy and its marine strategic nuclear component.

    Ten surface battle ships and support ships are taking part in the exercises, including the heavy aircraft-carrier cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov and the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, as well as some strategic missile-carrying submarines, multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines, on-deck helicopters, Air Force fighters and about 5,000 servicemen.

    According to the scenario of the manoeuvres, the crew of the missile strategic submarine Novomoskovsk, commanded by Captain First rank Sergei Rachuk, will launch an intercontinental ballistic missile from an underwater position towards a proving-ground on the Kamchatka peninsula.

    The cruiser Pyotr Veliky, under command of Rear Admiral Vladimir Kasatonov, will practice hitting a missile, launched from a North Fleet submarine, by an antiaircraft system.

    A group of scout ships, including the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko and the Admiral Levchenko, will search and attack a nuclear-powered submarine of the simulated enemy.

    In the course of the manoeuvres, it is planned to carry out dozens of exercises and conduct a tactical battle with the participation of ships and aviation.

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