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MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Units of the Baltic Fleet, Southern Military District and Airborne Forces have been brought to highest state of combat readiness in the framework of large-scale strategic drills, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service said on Tuesday.
"A number of military units and formations of the Baltic Fleet, Southern Military District and Airborne Forces have been moved to the highest state of combat readiness and started entering land and sea ranges," the press service said.
In accordance with the snap check plan for Russia’s Northern Fleet and separate formations of the Western Military District the country’s Air Force has begun redeployment of aircraft to alternate airfields, the press service said.
"About 50 warplanes and helicopters will be redeployed within the next day at distances from 400 to 4000 km," the statement says. "The forward teams of aviation experts have arrived at the designated aerodromes to examine and prepare airfields for the landing of aircraft equipment."
The MiG-31, Sukhoi Su-27, Su-24 fighters and the military transport aircraft Antonov An-12 and An-26 of the Western Military District, aviation of the Air Force and Air Defense command are engaged in the redeployment of warplanes and helicopters (Su-27, Su-24M, Mi-8AMTSh Mi-24) to alternate airfields.
Three groups of surface ships of the Russian Northern Fleet have been moved from the Kola bay to the Barents Sea within a snap combat readiness check, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Tuesday.
The Northern Fleet’s crews will drill a joint operation with aviation to search for submarines of the simulated enemy, the spokesman said.
"Three surface ship groupings have moved to the Barents Sea to accomplish the tasks they have been assigned," the spokesman said.
The search and strike ship force comprising the Admiral Levchenko large anti-submarine ship, the Brest and Yunga small anti-submarine vessels has started an operation jointly with the Northern Fleet’s anti-submarine aircraft to search for nuclear submarines of the simulated enemy in the designated areas of the Barents Sea, the spokesman said.
"The ship crews are performing tactical maneuvering, using hydroacoustic means of searches for submarines. They are drilling the simulated and practical use of anti-submarine weapons and ship self-defense means, including firing from RBU-6000 rocket launchers," the spokesman said.
The Admiral Levchenko destroyer is acting as the flagship command post in the naval drills.
"A grouping of minesweepers and a search and rescue force also continue operating in the Barents Sea," the Defense Ministry’s spokesman said.
The Northern Fleet’s ships are drilling the search for submarines in the short-range sea area also for ensuring the safety of the Northern Fleet’s submarines, which will join the naval exercises, the spokesman said.
In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, Vladimir Putin, a surprise inspection of the Northern Fleet and separate formations of the Western Military District is conducted in the period from March 16 to 21. The snap check involves some 38,000 troops, 3,360 units of military equipment, 41 warships, 15 submarines, 110 warplanes and helicopters.
This is not the first large-scale inspection of the Armed Forces’ combat readiness. Since the beginning of the year, inspections have been conducted in the Western, Central and Eastern Military District, including with large-scale exercises involving the newest serial military equipment of the forward strike forces. The drills include the mobilization of reservists, checks of operational readiness of the aerospace forces, special task forces, groupings of all service arms, the Air Force, as well as the surface and submarine fleet.