Russia shows off submarine destroyer near Syrian coast (VIDEO)

The Russian Navy gave journalists an onboard tour of the Udaloy-class anti-submarine destroyer that has been deployed to the Syrian port of Latakia to assist other Russian warships in their Mediterranean mission.

The Vice-Admiral Kulakov is one of eight frigates of its class currently in service in the Russian Navy. Its main purpose is to detect and destroy enemy submarines, meaning its current Syrian deployment is in more of a supporting role.

While guarding the Russian flotilla off Latakia, the ship detected and tracked several foreign submarines on reconnaissance missions off the Syrian coast, but was not engaged in combat missions. The Vice-Admiral Kulakov's search and rescue helicopter, a Kamov Ka-27PS, is ready to respond to emergencies on the seas.

The operation in Syria has became a turning point for the military's public relations. The latest tour is one of a series in which the Russian military has invited journalists from Russian and foreign media outlets to high-security facilities. Earlier, the media were allowed to visit the Khmeimim airbase south of Latakia, from which Russian warplanes fly sorties, and the Moskva missile destroyer, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet.

Unlike most of the Russian Navy ships involved in the Syrian operation, which belong to the Black Sea Fleet, the Vice-Admiral Kulakov is based with the North Fleet in Severomorsk. Mixing ships from different fleets is a common practice aimed at building cross-fleet cooperation and fostering ties between officers and sailors.

The warship left its home base four months ago and started its mission off the Syrian coast in December.