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Russian planes attack simulated enemy forces at Zapad-2017 exercise

September 18, 18:28 UTC+3 LUZHSKY PROVING GROUND

The drill involves almost 12,700 servicemen, about 70 planes and helicopters and up to 680 equipment units

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© Vayar Military Agency photo via AP

LUZHSKY PROVING GROUND /Leningrad Region/, September 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Aerospace Force planes demonstrated brilliant performance in one of the key episodes of the Zapad-2017 exercise despite bad weather, the commander of the 6th Air Force and Air Defense Army, Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Duplinsky, has said.

"You were able to see in action different types of aircraft - tactical, army, long-range and military transport planes - operating under the protection of fighter jets. About 50 planes and more than 30 helicopters participated in the exercise," Duplinsky told the media.

Tactical aircraft bombed the hypothetical enemy in cloudy and drizzly weather. Mi-8, Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters delivered air borne assault teams to the site of the operation and provided air protection for advancing forces on the ground.

"Regrettably, bad weather prevented those present from seeing the group of Ilyushin-76 planes parachute a tactical assault force. The newest fighters Sukhoi-35 were protecting the airdrop operation. I would like to say that despite bad weather the flight personnel coped with their tasks," Duplinsky said.

To destroy the most sensitive facilities and command centers of the hypothetical enemy supersonic bombers Tupolev-22M3 carried out bombing strikes. Tactical systems Iskander-M and Tochka-U launched missiles. Super-heavy artillery and self-propelled guns hit crucial enemy facilities with high accuracy shells Krasnopol and Smelchak. Drones and laser range finders provided the coordinates.

The joint Russian-Belarussian strategic exercise Zapad-2017 is being held in the territory of the two countries on September 14-20. Participating in it are 12,700 troops (including 10,200 in Belarussian territory), 70 planes and helicopters, 680 pieces of military equipment on the ground, including 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launches and mortars and ten ships.

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