Belgian Navy Shadows Kuznetsov

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The Belgian navy escorted Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group through Belgium's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the English Channel and North Sea Jan. 24-25, in cooperation with neighboring countries.

The Russian naval group, which includes the cruiser Piotr Veliky, two Udaloy class destroyers, the tanker Osipov and the tugboat Nikolay Chiker, was tracked by Belgium's Carrefour d’Information Maritime (Maritime Information Center) and was escorted through the EEZ by the Belgian navy's P901 Castor patrol vessel.

The naval group was on its way back from the Syrian coast to the northern Russian port of Severomorsk.

NATO officials were privately disdainful of the performance of the Kuznetsov but publicly acknowledged its right to operate in international waters.

On a less serious note, a fellow journalist started calling me "the voice" after I helped U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute pronounce the name of the Russian carrier during a press briefing last October.

Discuss this Blog Entry 12

on Jan 26, 2017

How much the total bill cost to NATO to "visit" this "piece of junk" according to Royal Navy?

on Jan 30, 2017

You need to think aqbout assets and training vs expensive.

No aircraft of ships were purchases to do this job (I know that's obvious). That's a fixed cost.,

The only cost is fuel (some wear and tear on aircraft reducing their life use by a minuscule amount)

What would they be doing if not that?

Probably operating, using fuel, maybe training.

So, real Euro (bow to EUY) cost, virtually nothing

Training and Photo OP: Priceless.

note: Maybe they can get an emission tax on it, its sure smoking like all get out. Sad, very sad.

Probably has a VW diesel in it!

on Jan 26, 2017

NATO was probably afraid it would sink aalexander.

It supplied many amusing hours of entertainment for the 6th fleet.

on Jan 26, 2017

Russians brought a tugboat with them, just in case one of their coal powered ships breaks down and has to be pushed back all the way to Russia.

on Jan 27, 2017

Nyet, not coal, is powered by good Siberian oil!

on Jan 26, 2017

Somewhere a Chinese businessman with cheap bank loans is in need of a floating casino or garbage scow.

on Jan 26, 2017

Was the Kuznetsov being towed through the Channel by the fleet tug?

aalexander you should have been out there in a rowboat helping your comrades push/pulling it through the Channel.

on Jan 26, 2017

"Was the Kuznetsov being towed through the Channel by the fleet tug?"

Naw, the tug was busy picking up floating pilots.

on Jan 27, 2017

LOL! [mic drop]

on Jan 27, 2017

That's Aalexander on the bow monitoring the propulsion plant... I mean tow line.

on Jan 27, 2017

Burnt jet-A and Avgas are really turning me on!!
And so do the Kuznetsov's cigar smoke!!!

on Feb 1, 2017

In less than 3 weeks of Med ops, the Kuznetsov managed to lose two Russian fighters, a MiG29K and a Su33, both due to malfunctions of their arresting cables on the flight deck. That's a heckuva score to run up, Ivan!

The fact that the Kuznetsov task group also included an ocean-going tug also seems to indicate the state of Russian naval readiness.

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