Russian nuclear missile cruiser visits Goa port


New Delhi : The Russian Navy’s nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) has arrived at the port of Mormugao in Goa after participating in a two-day naval exercise with the Indian Navy, an official said Thursday.

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Pyotr Veliky, known as the “killer of aircraft carriers”, was in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean for the biennial Indra exercise with the Indian Navy. During the exercise, the two navies carried manoeuveres on how to destroy aircraft carriers.

“Pyotr Veliky, the Russian warship, has participated in the naval war games that concluded Jan 27. Now it is docked in Mormugao on an unofficial visit, the only port on India’s western coast that has facilities for berthing of nuclear powered ships,” a navy official said, requesting anonymity.

The programme for the exercise provided for a joint drill of tasks to protect navigation, fight piracy and terrorist actions and hold gun and missile firing practice.

The warship from the Russia’s Northern Fleet will leave the Mormugao port Friday after replenishment of food and water.

The Pyotr Veliky will join up with a task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, comprising the Admiral Vinogradov, an Udaloy class destroyer, a tugboat and two fuel tankers, which are carrying out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

There has been a marked increase in the incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, with over 110 ships attacked last year.