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Russian navy conducts drills in northwest


09:31, March 28, 2013

MOSCOW, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Northern Fleet has started large-scale exercises at the Kola Peninsula in Russia's northwestern Murmansk Oblast, the fleet's press service said Wednesday.

"Crews of T-72 tanks, self-propelled howitzers, artillery sections, anti-aircraft artillery-missile systems, anti-tank missile systems as well as personnel of reconnaissance, landing, engineering units of the fleet's coastal troops have been training day and night in trans-polar region," the press service said on its website.

Over 2,500 servicemen and 200 combat vehicles are involved, it said.

The troops also have been mastering the skills of city warfare and open-space combat, orientation on landscape, countering the enemy's airstrikes and searching subversive groups, said the fleet.

Also on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed plans to arm its strategic nuclear submarines with long-range precision weapons.

"This will significantly enhance the possibility of using submarines as a strategic deterrent," Shoigu told a meeting with the Pacific Fleet's submarine command.

Russia plans to build eight Borei-class submarines to form the core of its nuclear deterrence strategy by 2020, which will replace the Project 941 (Typhoon by NATO classification) and Project 667 submarines.

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