Russian air defense force starts massive drills
More than 500 weapon systems, 50 aircraft and some 2,000 troops have been deployed in a large-scale air-defense exercise in eastern Russia, military officials said on Wednesday.
The exercise beginning on Wednesday in the Republic of Buryatia saw the use of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, Osa, Buk, Strela and Shilka antiaircraft missiles, Igla man-portable SAM missiles, and Pantsir-S gun-missile systems, Eastern Military District press officer Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev said, RIA Novosti reported.
Gordeyev said the Pantsir-S systems were delivered to the district in late 2012.
The system combines a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 short-range missiles. The Pantsir can engage targets at a range of 20 kilometers (12 miles) with missiles and at 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) with cannons.
The exercise is designed to test the readiness of the district's air-defense forces and combat aviation to perform joint missions and rehearse a range of combat training tasks in modern warfare, Gordeyev said.
The exercise, under the command of Eastern Military District chief Adm. Konstantin Sidenko, will last through mid-April.