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NOVOROSSIYSK, September 2. /TASS/. Over 250 participants in combined Russian, Belarusian and Serbian exercise Slavic Brotherhood will be airdropped from Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft to a landing zone near Krasnodar in south Russia on Thursday, Irina Kruglova, Russian Defense Ministry press officer for the Airborne Force, said on Wednesday.
"A mass airdrop is planned for September 3 from Krymsk and Krasnodar airfields to the Krasnooktyabrskoye landing zone. A Russian-Belarusian Special Forces team will jump into the Rayevskoye landing zone on September 4," Kruglova said.
According to Kruglova, three Il-76s will airdrop nine airborne combat vehicles on PBS-916 parachute systems, and seven more aircraft will airdrop 250 troops, including 50 Serbian servicemen. Russian and Belarusian Special Forces teams will jump behind the notional enemy lines from Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name: Hip) helicopters. The Russian commandos will parachute from 1,500 meters, using Arbalet-2 parachutes, while the Belarusian paratroops will employ their organic Lesnik-3M parachutes.
"Two Sukhoi Su-24 [Fencer] tactical bombers, two Mikoyan MiG-29 [Fulcrum] fighters, two Mi-28 [Havoc] attack helicopters will be used in the exercise along with six Mi-8 helicopters designed to support a battalion’s assault. Ten Il-76s with the Taganrog and Pskov-based air regiments will be used in the airdrop," the press officer added.
The exercise will be conducted from September 2 to September 5. A reinforced battalion from the 7th Guards Air Assault (Mountain) Division will represent Russia, while Serbia will be represented by a separate parachute company and Belarus by two Special Forces companies. Overall, around 700 personnel and 20 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft will be participate in the exercise.