To ensure the ship’s safety during the voyage and visits to foreign ports
Russia and Italy began on Monday the Ionex-2011 naval exercises in the Ionian Sea with the focus on joint antiterrorism and anti-piracy operations.
Russia is represented by the Smetlivy patrol ship and the Epron rescue boat from the Black Sea Fleet, while Italy has sent the Espero and the Aviere frigates.
The Smetlivy is carrying a naval infantry unit to take part in the drills and to ensure the ship’s safety during the voyage and visits to foreign ports.
The Ionex joint exercises in the Mediterannean are held on a regular basis to enhance interoperability between the Russian and Italian navies.
In 2010 the Ionex exercises off Sicily involved Russia’s patrol ship Ladny and the rescue tugboat Shakhter and the Italian frigates Artiglieri and Aliseo.
Source: RIA Novosti