MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s newest Baltic Fleet warship was sprinkled with holy water during a blessing over the weekend, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.
The Project 20380 Boiky corvette, which is currently undergoing sea trials, was blessed by a priest in a ceremony attended by the corvette’s crew, said Baltic Fleet spokesman Capt. 2nd Rank Vladimir Matveyev.
The priest blessed the corvette’s hull, weapons systems and superstructures, as well as the ship’s interior.
The trials are due to end by mid-April, Matveyev said.
The 20380 class, designed by the Almaz naval design bureau and built at St. Petersburg's Severnaya Verf shipyard, is optimized for antisubmarine and surface warfare and support for land operations. The class incorporates stealth technology, which has considerably reduced its radar and infrared signatures.
The 20380 class can be equipped with Kh-35 anti-ship missiles and 3M-54 Klub cruise missiles, Kashtan anti-aircraft gun/missile systems, a main 100-mm gun and two 30-mm close-range air defense guns, as well as torpedo tubes, according to naval-technology.com. It also has a hangar and deck for operating a Kamov Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare helicopter, and is fitted with a Vinyetka-EM towed-array sonar.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.