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Russia and NATO launch Vigilant Skies-2013 exercises

September 23, 2013, 8:41 UTC+3
Norway, Poland, and Turkey will participate in the counterterrorism exercises on the side of NATO
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Photo ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

Photo ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, September 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Vigilant Skies-2013 exercises of Russia and NATO to fight air terrorism begin on Monday within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative.

Stanislav Kishenkov, Director of the Russia-NATO Coordination Center, told Itar-Tass that the exercises would be held in three stages and would end on September 25. Norway, Poland, and Turkey will participate in the counterterrorism exercises on the side of NATO.

The exercises on the first day (Monday) will be conducted in an imitation mode. A rogue plane and forces counteracting it will be token ones. The sides will check the effectiveness of the operation of all levels of the system for information exchange between participants in the exercises. Practical missions to intercept and escort an airliner with "malefactors" on board and prevent a terrorist act will be drilled on the subsequent two days.

In particular, on September 24, an airliner captured by simulated terrorists (a "renegade airplane") will fly over the Black Sea area to Turkey. Su-27 fighter planes will operate on the Russian side and F-16 on the Turkish one.

On September 25, a "violator airplane" will fly from Poland and will be intercepted by fighter planes of the Polish Air Force over the Baltic Sea area.

The coordination centers of Russia and NATO are located in Moscow and Warsaw, respectively. They get the necessary information from their local coordination points (LCP) and the latter, in their turn, get information from the operating civil-aviation air traffic control centers. In Russia, this function is entrusted to the Federal state unitary enterprise "State Corporation for Air Traffic Arrangements" which is part of the Rosaviatsiya (Federal Air Transport Agency).

Simulating a seizure of a civil airliner by malefactors, the sides believe that in such a situation it is essential not only to exchange information but also to drill joint action procedures.

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