Russian naval vessel visiting Angola

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The Russian Navy’s oceanographic research vessel Admiral Vladimirsky is currently docked in Angola after carrying out her Antarctic expedition. She visited South Africa earlier in the month.

The vessel docked in Luanda on Monday, and is scheduled to remain until 16 March before returning to Kronstadt, Russia, in April. During their time in Angola, the 117 crewmembers were scheduled to visit the Angolan military museum, the mausoleum of Agostinho Neto and train with their Angolan counterparts, AngolaPress reports.

Before arriving in Angola, the vessel visited Cape Town, arriving at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront on 3 March after her Antarctic expedition. She departed Kronstadt on 6 November last year.

Whilst in South Africa, Russian ambassadors and the ship’s captain, Dmijriy Puntus, visited Naval Base Simon’s Town to pay a courtesy call to the Flag Officer Fleet of the SA Navy, Rear Admiral Bravo K Mhlana, according to the South African Navy. They also laid a wreath at the graves of 17 Russian sailors at the Simon’s Town cemetery, who died more than 100 years ago.

The navy and merchant sailors died on separate occasions during the 19th Century while their vessels were docked in Simons Town which was then called Simons Bay, SABC reports.

The Admiral Vladimirsky departed Cape Town on 8 March after replenishment. The vessel arrived in Cape Town for the first time to take on supplies on 5 January before heading to Antarctica, becoming the first Russian navy vessel to sail to Antarctica in around 30 years. She is expected to sail more than 30 000 nautical miles on her journey which involved a hydrographic survey of Antarctic waters, which includes updating sea maps. A radio navigation study also examined how radio waves cross Antarctica.

The ship is scheduled to visit the ports of Algeria, Suez (Egypt), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Victoria (the Seychelles), Madagascar, Maputo (Mozambique), Cape Town, Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Luanda and Lisbon (Portugal).

The Admiral Valdimirsky was built in 1975 and named after Black Sea Fleet Commander Lev Vladimirsky.

Admiral Vladimirsky’s visit to Angola was the second time in the last year that the Russian Navy paid a visit to the southern African country. For the first time in 25 years, Russian Navy vessels from the Black Sea Fleet arrived in Angola in July 2015, celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The vessels included the Moskva cruiser, Krivak II class frigate Pitlivy, Shakhter rescue tug and tanker Ivan Bubnov.

During the visit, Moskva fired a P-500 Bazalt (SS-N-12) anti-ship missile at a surface target, scoring a successful hit. According to the Russian Navy, the crew of Pytlivy also performed surface and air target artillery firing.