Russian cruiser passes Suez Canal on mission in Indian Ocean

The Moskva missile cruiser has passed through the Suez Canal and entered the Indian Ocean
 

The Moskva missile cruiser has passed through the Suez Canal and entered the Indian Ocean to join other Russian warships for large-scale naval exercises, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, which has a compliment of naval infantry on board, left the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on April 9.

"The weapons and technical equipment on the ship are functioning properly and the crew is healthy," the spokesman said.

The Moskva is a Slava-class missile cruiser designed as a surface strike ship with some anti-aircraft and ASW capability.

Meanwhile, the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser from Russia's Northern Fleet has recently arrived in Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus ahead of Russian Navy drills in the Indian Ocean.

Russia announced in 2007 that it was building up its naval presence in the world's oceans. Once one the world's most powerful navies, Russia now has few ships regularly deployed.

A Russian Pacific Fleet task force, comprising an Udaloy class missile destroyer, Marshal Shaposhnikov, a salvage tug and a tanker, is currently on an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast.