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Over 50 warplanes deliver massive air strike against notional enemy in south Russia drills

August 30, 16:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s Defense Ministry is holding a combat readiness check of troops as part of preparations for the Caucasus-2016 maneuvers
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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Over 50 warplanes have delivered a massive air strike against a notional enemy at the Ashuluk training range near Astrakhan in south Russia in a combat readiness check, the press office of Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.

"The crews of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft of the Southern Military District have accomplished a massive air strike with rockets against ground targets at the Ashuluk training range near Astrakhan in a snap combat readiness check," the ministry said.

Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) and Su-30SM (Flanker-C) fighter jets, Su-24M (Fencer) and Su-34 (Fullback) bombers and Su-25SM (Frogfoot) attack aircraft were involved in the drills. They used aircraft guns, bombs and rockets against the targets imitating columns of military hardware, protected shelters and camouflaged firing positions.

"The pilots acted as part of organic pairs and wings, performing flights in the echelon formation at established intervals and distances. After the planes’ combat use, the crews practiced conducting anti-missile maneuvering and dodging a retaliatory strike," the Defense Ministry said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry is currently holding a combat readiness check of troops as part of preparations for the Caucasus-2016 maneuvers. The check involves units of the Southern Military District and part of the troops of the Central and Western Military Districts.

It was also reported that the Northern Fleet, the Aerospace Force and the Airborne Troops would be involved in the drills as well.

The combat readiness check is expected to be over on August 31.

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