A large-scale exercise of the fleet's means and forces is scheduled for September 2002, involving surface ships, submarines and naval aviation, as well as coastal units of the fleet and Leningrad military district. The fleet's large anti-submarine ships 'Admiral Chabanenko' and 'Severomorsk' will make visits to Reykjavik, Iceland and Plymouth, Great Britain, in the later half of 2002.
Meanwhile, the remains of the nuclear submarine 'Kursk' left on the bottom of the Barents Sea will be blasted after 12 August 2002. The prosecutor general's office is expected to announce results of the investigation into the submarine's death before that date. The Northern Fleet has completed preparations for the blast and are only waiting for a corresponding decision of the Navy command. The plan calls for two fleet vessels to plant 200m explosive cords, with the help of the 'Rapan' small television apparatus that will be operated from the 'Altai' rescue tug. Test blasts staged at the fleet's proving range in June were a success. - Adam Geibel
Commander of the Russian Northern Fleet Admiral Gennady Suchkov said that the naval forces under his command are capable of ensuring Russia's military security in the area they are responsible for, with no less than five nuclear submarines performing their combat duties in the sea on a daily basis. The Northern Fleet recently commissioned the 'Dmitry Donskoi' heavy strategic nuclear submarine (Project 941-U, codename Akula, NATO designation Typhoon), which had just completed a comprehensive modernization. That makes three heavy strategic submarines in the Northern Fleet inventory, with one on combat patrol daily.