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Russian combat aircraft to join military drills with Belarus

Posted by Kris Roman on October 15, 2008

 

Russian military aircraft and helicopters will conduct joint exercises with the Belarusian Air Force, a Russian Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, Su-25 Frogfoot close-support aircraft and Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters had landed at three Belarusian airbases on October 13 in preparation for the Fall-2008 operational and tactical exercises with the Belarusian Armed Forces.

The Fall-2008 exercises will involve around 8,500 personnel, military and special hardware, including over 40 aircraft, more than 60 tanks, around 250 armored vehicles and up to 40 artillery pieces.

The participation by Russian aircraft in the exercises is part of the ongoing Russia-Belarus Stability-2008 drills, Drik said.

The Stability-2008 exercises will last until October 21 across various regions of Russia and Belarus with the goal of practicing the strategic deployment of the Armed Forces, including the nuclear triad, to counter potential threats near the Russian border. “The exercise will involve the majority of personnel and strategic aircraft in service with strategic aviation units,” Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin earlier said. “The crews will deploy the entire range of on board weaponry.”

The Russian Air Force combat training program has scheduled more than 200 exercises with 350 live firing drills for the second half of 2008.

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