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The Admiral Panteleyev destroyer will replace the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer
The Admiral Panteleyev destroyer will replace the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer on an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast, a spokesman for Russia's Pacific Fleet said on Monday.

"The Admiral Panteleyev will leave its main base in Vladivostok in April and head for the Somali coast to take part in the international operation to fight piracy in the region," the spokesman said.

Russia's Admiral Vinogradov destroyer has been involved in the anti-piracy mission around the Horn of Africa since the beginning of January and will leave the area in the near future, he added.

Both warships are Udaloy class missile destroyers, armed with anti-ship missiles, 30-mm and 100-mm guns, and Ka-27 Helix helicopters.

According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen countries, including Russia, India, the United States, China and Arab states are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia, which has been ravaged by years of civil war.

Somalia's new unity government plans to tackle the problem of piracy by creating a maritime corridor through the country's territorial waters with international assistance.


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