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Soviet Union Reported Deploying Heavily-armed, Mediterranean Fleet

The Soviet Union was reported for the first time today to have a powerful, permanent fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, operating in the area of the American Sixth Fleet and based in Egyptian ports. The Sunday Telegraph, disclosing the presence of the Soviet vessels in Mediterranean waters, reported that the fleet included cruisers and destroyers armed with guided missiles, submarines, electronic intelligence trawlers and support ships.

Vice Admiral William Ellis, former commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, now chief of staff to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in the Atlantic, said, according to the newspaper, that the Soviet Union has built up its Mediterranean fleet “very quietly” over the past three years. He also disclosed that the Soviet destroyers were equipped with surface-to-surface or anti-ship missiles which neither the American nor British navies have in service.

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