The Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet escort, RFS Vitse-Admiral Kulakov, has returned to Severomorsk after undertaking her first operational deployment in more than 20 years. The Udaloy I class destroyer carried out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, shepherding 14 merchant ships, before taking part in inter-fleet exercises in the Mediterranean near Syria.
One of 12 anti-submarine warfare destroyers built for the Soviet Navy between 1980 and 1991, Kulakov was the second of the class, commissioned at the end of 1981. She remained operational until 1991, when she was taken out of service for routine repairs and maintenance. This unfortunately coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it was not until December 2011 that she eventually returned to frontline service.