MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti)
Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko from the Northern Fleet will make a port call at the U.S. naval base Norfolk on Monday in preparation for joint naval drills with NATO warships.
Admiral Chabanenko, an Udaloy II class destroyer, and rescue tug Shakhter will take part in the FRUKUS 2011 exercises, which will be held on June 23-30 in the North Atlantic off the east coast of the United States.
The annual naval drills, which traditionally involve France, Russia, Britain and the United States, practice interoperability for future joint anti-piracy operations under a UN mandate.
"The goal of the exercise is to practice interoperability between warships in a multinational task force fighting piracy and protecting convoys," a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The FRUKUS 2011 exercise will consist of several stages including joint maneuvering, repelling attacks of fast-speed boats, boarding operations, and helicopter landings.
Previously called RUKUS, the exercises were launched in 1988 to promote dialogue between the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States. The name was changed to FRUKUS in 2003, when France formally joined the group.
Admiral Chabanenko was on a two-month anti-piracy duty in the Gulf of Aden in Dec. 2009 - Jan. 2010, and successfully escorted a number of commercial convoys through pirate-infested waters off Somali coast.