CIS Countries Start Air Defense Drills Involving About 100 Planes
(Source: TASS; published Sept 27, 2018)
A MiG-31BM high-speed interceptor takes off from a Russian air base for an exercise. Over 100 combat aircraft are taking part in an air-defense exercise organised by Russia with six other CIS member states. (RUS MoD file photo)
MOSCOW --- Seven member-states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have started air defense drills involving up to 100 planes, including strategic bombers, on Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry press service told journalists.

More than 130 command and control posts started performing training tasks at 08:00 Moscow time, the ministry specified. The Russian Aerospace Force is managing the exercise.

"Up to 100 attack aircraft Su-27, MiG-29, MiG-31 and Yak-130, bomber aircraft Su-24 and Su-34, assault aircraft Su-25, long-range aircraft Tu-22, Tu-160 and Tu-95, and helicopters Ka-27 and Mi-8 of the armed forces of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as units of radio-technical troops and air and missile defense troops from the specified states within the joint air defense system are taking part in the exercise," the Defense Ministry reported.

The exercise started with the detection of "enemy" air targets in the Eastern European and Central Asian regions, "the role of which was taken on by strategic missile carriers Tu-160 and Tu-95MS, as well as bombers Tu-22M3 of the Russian Aerospace Force long-range aviation," the ministry reported.

The combat alert force will train operations on aircraft that violate the borders of the CIS countries, as well as hijacked aircraft and providing help to the crews of planes and helicopters in distress.

"The Aerospace Force Management Center located in the city of Moscow is managing the air defense force involved in the drills," the Russian Defense Ministry concluded.

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