Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Watch: Russia Test-Fires Missiles, Torpedoes In Sea of Japan Amid Tension With The US

Russia has conducted missile and torpedo tests from the newly-modernized frigate, Marshal Shaposhnikov, in the Sea of Japan amid tensions with the US.

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The exercise in the Peter the Great Bay comes weeks after Russia intercepted the US submarine-hunter USS John S McCain 2km inside its waters.

The frigate, belonging to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, test-fired A-190 artillery unit, 30mm six-barrel cannon, and at least two naval torpedoes “to check the strength of the reinforcement of launchers”.

The warship is in the final stages of an upgrade at the Dalzavod Ship Repair Plant. The Russian defense ministry said the sea trials comprised missile firing against naval and coastal targets along with practicing air defense tasks with anti-aircraft artillery fire.

The large anti-submarine warfare ship Marshal Shaposhnikov has been converted into a multi-purpose frigate capable of fighting ground, naval and underwater targets. It has been equipped with Kalibr-NK and Uran strike missile systems. The advanced artillery armament has further increased its firepower.

US Interventions in Russian Waters

The war drill has come weeks after Russia intercepted the American submarine-hunter USS John S McCain 2km inside its waters. It was followed by a diplomatic spat between Washington and Moscow. Washington claims the bay does not belong to Russia and that it has the “freedom of navigation” to operate its ship in the region.

In recent years, Russia has strengthened its military presence in the region and expanded military cooperation with China. Commissioning of new ships to the Pacific fleet is part of Moscow’s efforts to upgrade its weaponry in the Far East.

Recently, Russia and China had conducted a joint strategic patrol exercise over the Sea of Japan with two Russian Tu-95MS aircraft and four Chinese H-6K strategic bombers. The two countries have been conducting joint navy exercises in the region since 2012. The first joint patrol by bombers over the Sea of Japan was conducted in 2019.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet has received a major boost since 2016 with the integration of over 3,700 units of new weapons and military equipment, including missiles, artillery to fighter jets.

Earlier this month, Russia had deployed its advanced air defense system S-300V4 on a disputed northern island. Both Russia and Japan lay claim to it. Experts believe the military build-up by Russia comes in the backdrop of encounters with the US forces in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Strait, and the Sea of Japan in recent years.

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