JEDDAH: The Admiral Gorshkov has become the first Russian warship to dock in Saudi Arabia. The vessel was on its way back home when it stopped off at Jeddah Islamic Port for “two-day crew rest and refueling,” according to a Russian embassy official.
The 135-meter frigate, armed with guided missiles, left the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk on Jan. 4 on a long journey to Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa, where it conducted naval maneuvers before sailing for Chabahar, Iran, where another military exercise took place.
Last month, Russia said it had launched naval exercises with China and Iran in the Arabian Sea, with the aim of strengthening ties with the two countries.
“In the Indian Ocean, it also held training on March 13. The drill focused on seeking submarines and destroying them with its Ka-27 series helicopter,” Andrey Brekhovskikh, a media attache at the Russian embassy, told Arab News.
After the Gorshkov completed its mission in the Indian Ocean, it headed to Djibouti before sailing to the Saudi city of Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast, where it made history as the first visit of its kind by a Russian military ship.
The vessel, which is equipped with Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, was scheduled to depart Saudi Arabia after two days and head to Tartus, Syria, for maintenance.
In the western Atlantic Ocean, the Gorshkov practiced a Zircon missile strike in January on a target simulating an enemy warship at a distance of more than 900 kilometers, In February, it participated in joint drills with the navies of South Africa and China off South African coasts, the Russian Defense Ministry said.