The Russian Pacific Fleet carried out a military exercise in the Pacific Ocean involving 20 warships and several submarines on the same day a US spy plane was intercepted for allegedly flying close to Russian air space in the country’s far east.
The Russian Ministry of Defence said on Twitter that the drill was carried out by the Pacific fleet to practice responding to a simulated enemy attack yesterday (10th June).
According to the statement, the drill involved 20 warships including the Varyag missile cruiser.
The Varyag missile cruiser, better known as the ‘Viking’, measures 186 metres (611 feet) in length and comes equipped with the P-1000 Vulkan supersonic missile and S-300F Fort long-range surface to air missiles.
In terms of airpower, the drill involved the long-range anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142mz, and high-altitude fighter-interceptors MiG-31BM.
The footage shows the fleet’s air force, submarines and ships co-ordinating a search-and-destroy operation involving a simulated submarine attack.
The exercise came as relations between Washington and the Kremlin continue to deteriorate as the summit between President Biden and President Putin approaches in Geneva next Monday (14th June).
On 10th June, Russia’s Eastern Military District reported that they had intercepted a US Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance plane over the Pacific Ocean.
The Russian military said: “The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as a strategic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 of the US Air Force and escorted it over the Pacific Ocean.”
They added: “After the foreign military aircraft was turned away from the state border of Russia, the Russian fighter returned safely to its home base.”
Washington has not yet commented on the incident but it is not unusual for US spy planes to probe Russia’s eastern boundaries.
President Biden told Sky News on his way to the G7 meeting in the UK: “We will show the strength of our alliances and make it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States are tight and ready to move.”
The G7 meeting gets underway today (11th June) in south-west England where the escalating tension between NATO and the Kremlin is expected to feature high on the list of topics world leaders will discuss.