The Russian military is tracking a U.S. Navy expeditionary fast transport USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) in the Black Sea, the National Defense Control Center reported on Thursday.
“The forces and means of the Black Sea Fleet have begun to monitor the actions of the Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Yuma of the US Navy, that entered the Black Sea on July 8,” it said.
Earlier on Thursday, United States Sixth Fleet reported that Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport USNS Yuma (T-EPF 8) had begun its transit into the Black Sea to operate with NATO allies and partners.
Spearhead-class class ships are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is capable of operating in austere ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank.
In addition to aluminum-hull, expeditionary fast transport (EPF) is equipped with an expansive flight deck, a load ramp capable of supporting 100 tons of weight, and a 20,000 square-foot mission bay.
NATO’s Sea Breeze multinational naval maneuvers are underway in the Black Sea from June 28 to July 10. The drills involve Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Latvia. About 4,000 personnel, 40 warships, 30 aircraft and over 100 motor and armored vehicles are involved in the Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers.