Russia warship to join drills with China, South Africa navies

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (MNA) – A Russian warship armed with hypersonic cruise weapons will take part in exercises with the Chinese and South African navies in February, according to Russian sources.

The report on Monday was the first official mention of the participation by the Russian frigate Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov.

The frigate is armed with Zircon missiles, which fly at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of more than 1,000km (620 miles).

“‘Admiral Gorshkov’ … will go to the logistic support point in Syria’s Tartus, and then take part in joint naval exercises with the Chinese and South African navies,” TASS said in its report, citing an unidentified defense source.

The South African National Defence Force has said the drills will run from February 17-26 near the port cities of Durban and Richards Bay on South Africa’s east coast.

It said on Thursday that the joint exercise aims “to strengthen the already flourishing relations between South Africa, Russia, and China”.

The exercise will be the second involving the three countries in South Africa, after a drill in 2019, the defense force added.

The Gorshkov held exercises in the Norwegian Sea earlier this month after President Vladimir Putin sent it to the Atlantic Ocean in a signal to the West that Russia would not back down over the war in Ukraine.

Putin has previously said the frigate and its Zircon missiles have “no analogues in the world”.

RHM/PR

News Code 196526

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