Russian warship casts anchor near London

Russia's Neustrashimy (Intrepid) warship cast anchor at Greenwich not far from London today. This frigate's visit is timed to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to Great Britain that began June 24.

Vladimir Putin and Duke Andrew of York are to visit the Russian warship June 26. The ship's crew will conduct a guided tour for both dignitaries.

The Russian Navy boasts two other similar frigates, i.e. the Yaroslav Mudry (Wise) and the Tuman (Fog). All these frigates are equipped with Uran anti-ship weapons systems, i.e. 16 inertial-guidance homing cruise missiles with a 130-km range. Moreover, the Neustrashimy has a Klinok (Sword) missile complex replete with eight vertical-launch missiles for hitting aerial targets at 10-meter - 6-km altitudes. A 100-mm AK-100 gun is located in her bow section. This gun, which can fire 350 rounds per minute, has a 20-km range. A helipad and a helicopter hangar are to be found in the ship's aft section. The frigate carries one Kamov Ka-27 chopper.

The Neustrashimy is intended to hunt for and destroy enemy submarines, also defending other ships against enemy planes, helicopters and warships. The frigate, which displaces 3,400 tons, has a maximum speed of 30 knots and a 210-man crew.

Three Soviet and Russian warships have already entered British territorial waters, while escorting national leaders to the United Kingdom. Russian warships also dropped anchor here during Mikhail Gorbachev's British visit in the 1980s.

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