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17.06.11 - 23.06.11

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US Navy’s presence counters Russia’s Black Sea fleet

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Military vessels belonging to the U.S. navy frequently make visits to the Black Sea, which the Russian government has protested against. At the international trainings entitled “Sea Breeze 2011”, the United States Navy sent the missile carrier USS Monterey (CG-61), which, in military terms, is stronger than the missile cruiser “Moskva”, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

During the August 2008 war, a small squadron of Russia’s Black Sea fleet entered Georgia’s territorial waters. The flagship of the squadron was the Russian missile cruiser “Moskva”.

It is not known what damage “Moskva” inflicted on Georgia during the war, but the P-1000 Vulkan-type missiles (16) contained within the armament of the vessel could facilitate an attack from the Black Sea to Tbilisi, as the missiles can fly 600-700 kilometers and can carry nuclear warheads. Russia’s “Moskva” is undoubtedly the strongest fighting vessel in the Black Sea. However, interestingly, Georgia’s shores were approached last week by the world’s most powerful missile cruiser for a friendly visit.

On June 9-12, the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga class missile cruiser Monterey (CG-61) and the CG-68 Anzio visited Batumi. Despite the fact that the Anzio has a slightly smaller displacement (9,800 tons against 11,490) and is shorter than the Moskva (by 13m) its fighting powers are greater.

The armament of Russia’s Moskva consists of two 130 mm artillery guns, 16 containers launching missiles, 64 zenith missiles and one helicopter.

The armament of U.S. Anzio includes universal machine of vertical starter with 122 departments the standard type zenith missiles (one of such missiles exploded and damaged a U.S. satellite on orbit from the Pacific Ocean) as well as Tomahawk- type missiles which can destroy targets at a distance of 1,600 km. There are two helicopters based on “Anzio”.

It would probably be better if the White House had sent “Anzio” to Batumi (or Poti) in the beginning of August 2008 in order to demonstrate political support for Georgia, which would have been much more effective than “expressions of concern” that were offered.

By Irakli Aladashvili

16.06.2011

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