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Russia to reinforce Crimean naval grouping by yearend -- fleet commander
The Project 11356 lead frigate Admiral Grigorovich is scheduled to join the Russian Black Sea Fleet and reach Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula by the end of this year, Fleet Commander, Admiral Alexander Vitko said on Thursday.
"This year, we expect the lead frigate Admiral Grigorovich to reach Sevastopol and the submarines Novorossiysk and Rostov-on-Don to arrive in Novorossiysk, the Black Sea Fleet commander said.
The Project 11356 lead frigate Admiral Grigorovich is completing a cycle of trials and preparing for its passage to the Black Sea, the admiral said.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet has completed forming crews for the Project 11356 frigates Admiral Grigorovich, Admiral Essen and Admiral Makarov, he added.
"All the ships will be manned solely with contract personnel. All the above-mentioned warships will enter service in the squadron of surface ships that has been re-established in Sevastopol," the Black Sea Fleet commander said.
The crews of the small missile-carrying ships Serpukhov and Zeleny Dol built for the Black Sea Fleet in the Volga Republic of Tatarstan have also been formed and started training.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet has also completed the process of forming crews for the newest diesel-powered submarines Novorossiysk, Rostov-on-Don, Stary Oskol and Krasnodar, the admiral said.
It was earlier reported that the first pair of the Project 11356 warships would be transferred to the Black Sea Fleet by the end of the year.
"The Admiral Grigorovich and the Admiral Essen will be commissioned this year or at least this is what we expect. The former is undergoing trials and the latter is preparing for them. Meanwhile, the third admiral-series frigate will enter service next year," Igor Ponomaryov, head of the Yantar shipyard, which is building the frigates, said in June.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on the Single Day of Military Products' Acceptance on July 16 that the Yantar shipyard had disrupted the deadlines in 2014 for delivering the first Project 11356 frigate Admiral Grigorovich. The warship is expected to be commissioned in November 2015.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Jul15]
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