Russia nuclear-powered submarines launch missiles in Barents Sea drills

(Reuters) - Nuclear-powered submarines of Russia's Northern Fleet launched cruise missiles at sea targets as part of exercises in the Barents Sea, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday, citing the fleet's news service.

"The nuclear submarine missile cruisers ... of Northern Fleet carried out practical missile firing at sea targets in the Barents Sea," the TASS news agency reported, citing the statement from fleet.

The Severodvinsk and the Orel nuclear-powered submarines fired Kalibr and Granit cruise missiles a distance of about 170 km (106 miles) at a target simulating a detachment of landing ships of a mock enemy, the Interfax news agency reported.

"According to objective control data, the combat exercise was completed successfully," Interfax said, citing the fleet statement. "The missile weapons used have once again confirmed their inherent characteristics and high reliability."

The missile firing area was closed in advance to civilian shipping and aviation flights.

The Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean is located off the northern coasts of Norway and Russia and is divided between Norwegian and Russian territorial waters.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Christian Schmollinger)