Russian warship hits surface target in Sea of Japan drills

The missile cruiser Varyag has effectively engaged a surface target at an ongoing Pacific Fleet exercise in the Sea of Japan, a fleet spokesman said Wednesday.

"The Varyag's first missile successfully engaged a long-range surface target in the course of a combined-arms exercise by the Pacific Fleet," Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

The fleet started a series of training exercises, involving live firing at simulated targets, on Monday.

The Admiral Vinogradov and Marshal Shaposhnikov large ASW ships earlier engaged a dummy airborne target with antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles.

The current drills are the third in a series of combat training exercises conducted by the Pacific Fleet over the past month. Two previous exercises off Russia's Far East coast involved more than 50 warships and submarines, along with naval aircraft and infantry.

Russia also announced last week that strategic submarines from the Pacific Fleet would conduct test launches of ballistic missiles at the Kura test site in Kamchatka this week.

[Source: Novosti, Vladivostok, 17Sep08]

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