3 Sep 2007

Russian frigate deployed
in Operation Active Endeavour

The Russian frigate RFS Ladniy started actively supporting Operation Active Endeavour on 3 September. Its deployment as part of NATO's maritime counter-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean will continue through to 24 September.

Under NATO operational control, the Russian ship is patrolling sectors in the Mediterranean. Its mission is to track merchant shipping and to inspect any suspicious vessels.

Prior to being certified as ready for deployment, the Ladniy underwent extensive training and preparations. It was important to ensure that the Russian navy personnel were familiar with NATO standard procedures and communications, and that they had adequate English language skills. Training at sea with Allied ships was also required in order to practise joint manoeuvering and the boarding of suspect ships. Special equipment was also installed and technical training given.

An exchange of letters between NATO and Russia in December 2004 paved the way for preparations for Russia’s support for the operation. The Ladniy is the second Russian ship to support Operation Active Endeavour. The first was the frigate RFS Pytliviy, which was deployed in the operation in September 2006. Other Russian ships are expected to be rotated into the operation in future.

Operation Active Endeavour is part of NATO’s maritime contribution to the fight against terrorism. Launched in October 2001, it continues to conduct surveillance and monitoring operations of the major shipping lanes of the Mediterranean. NATO decided in 2004 to enlist the support of Partner countries, Mediterranean Dialogue countries and other selected nations. Russia was the first Partner to support the operation. Ukraine was the second Partner to contribute, deploying a frigate in June 2007.