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MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. A surprise combat readiness inspection of the Air Force and antiaircraft defense units of the Central Military District has shown that the troops have high combat skills and high reliability of equipment, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.
The Central Military District snap check of troops in the period from May 25 to 28 also involved units of forces of the Western and Southern Military Districts, Long-Range and Military-Transport Aviation. According to the minister, some 12,000 troops, up to 250 warplanes and helicopters, about 700 pieces of various weapons and equipment took part in the manoeuvres.
"Generally, the troops have displayed high combat skills in the air and on the ground and the equipment - high reliability. The Air Force has confirmed its capability to accomplish the most difficult missions to protect air frontiers of our Motherland," Shoigu said.
"We aimed to assess the Air Force and air defense units’ combat effectiveness," the minister said. "The check focused especially on the deployment of the air command and control system and organisation of its comprehensive support in the deployment areas. The drill was conducted in the Central Asian region."
According to Shoigu, the check that lasted for four days "included the whole range of tasks - from the planning to aircraft and air defense combat training missions." "The troops’ skills were checked in a realistic mission scenario," the defense minister said.
In particular, he said, pilots drilled redeployment of aircraft to unfamiliar airdromes, including located at a distance of 3,000 kilometres from the main base. At the Ashuluk and Kapustin Yar ranges, bombing-missile air attacks were drilled in the conditions of the enemy’s electronic warfare activity, and anti-aircraft gunners were firing on air targets in a complex environment, Shoigu said. At the Pemboi range in the north of Russia, the country’s Long-Range Aviation successfully launched cruise missiles, and fighter jets simultaneously drilled their interception, the minister added.