A NATO ship entered the Odessa Commercial Sea Port on the morning of March 23. The French minesweeper M653 Capricorne moored at the berth number 16 of the marine station of the port of Odessa, reports Dumskaya news website.
The ship passed the Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea on March 21. This is the second time the NATO ship of a non-Black Sea country visits Odessa in 2019. The first vessel that arrived in Odessa on February 25 was the United States missile destroyer DDG75 Donald Cook.
The purpose of the visit is to support bilateral cooperation in the naval sphere and security at sea. The ship will stay in Odessa until March 26. The visit schedule includes military exercises with ships of the Ukrainian Naval Forces under the PASSEX program.
It is not a first-time Capricorne vessel visits the Black Sea. At the beginning of July 2006, the ship arrived in Bulgarian Varna port and conducted exercises with the large group of ships from the United States, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany and Israel.
Capricorne is an Eridan-class minehunter. It joined the French Navy fleet in August 1987. The full displacement of the ship is 625 tons, length -52 meters, width -9, and immersion is 3.8 meters. The maximum speed on a diesel engine is 18 knots and while patrolling on electric motors -7 knots. The crew consists of 49 people, including 5 officers.
The ship is equipped with two self-propelled underwater vehicles for search and destruction of such mines as PAP-104 Mod4 and Bofors Double Eagle Mk2. It has artillery weapons - 20 mm gun Giat 20F2 and three machine guns. On board, there is also a radar station and sonar system.