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US Missile Shield Ship to Enter Black Sea

03.12.2015 14:38

The guided missile cruiser which earlier tested its ability as a missile shield is to enter the Black Sea on Thursday, according to the US Navy Sixth Fleet.

US Navy guided missile cruiser USS Ross is to enter the Black Sea on Thursday to enhance cooperation with "allies and partners."

On October 20, the USS Ross intercepted a ballistic missile as a part of exercises testing the first part of the US missile shield in Europe. The missile shield has been criticized as an attempt to alter the balance of forces in the region.

"USS Ross (DDG 71) will enter the Black Sea, Dec. 3, 2015, to promote peace and stability in the region," the US Navy Sixth Fleet's press release said.

The press release also noted that the ship's mission in the Black Sea would be to provide maritime security and military readiness for US "allies and partners."

The Black Sea is adjacent to countries with tense relations, in particular Russia and Turkey.

The USS Ross is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile cruiser, armed with the Aegis cruise missile system, which is capable of carrying up to 56 nuclear-armed Tomahawk missiles. The ship class is also capable of carrying an SH-60 Seahawk multi-mission helicopter, and has a crew of 337 seamen.