The Russian front-runner frigate armed with new generation hypersonic cruise missiles has made it to the South African port of Richards Bay, Russia’s RIA state news agency reported on Wednesday, to conduct exercises with China and South Africa.
South Africa will launch the joint exercises on Friday. It calls for the drill routine even though they have faced domestic criticism and fear that it might affect their relations with Western partners.
The exercise marks the first anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine and comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to suspend its last major nuclear arms control treaty with the United States.
The ship, named “The Admiral Gorshkov of the Fleet of the Soviet Union”, arrived at Richards Bay “performing the tasks of a long-range voyage”, RIA reported, referring to a statement given by the Russian Northern Fleet.
The Gorshkov warship, which departed from Russia on January 4, is equipped with Zircon missiles having a range of 900 km (560 miles) and can travel faster than the speed of sound.
The ship tested its strike abilities in the western Atlantic Ocean in late January.