MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Russia's airborne early warning and control A-50 aircraft, S-400 missile systems, as well as the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems are taking part in the Black Sea drills held amid NATO's Sea Shield 2019 drills, the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement published on its official website on Friday reads.
"To ensure the fulfillment of training and combat missions of aviation and the forces of the fleet of the Southern Military District, airborne early warning and control A-50 jets have been in the Black Sea area. They were on a mission over the Black Sea waters for more than 5 hours and targeted Su-27SM and Su-30 jets to supersonic and stratospheric targets more than 20 times," the Defense Ministry pointed out.
According to the ministry's data, the Black Sea drills feature more than 50 planes and helicopters, as well as the S-400 Triumf missile system the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems battalions.
"The planned drills are taking place against the backdrop of the joint exercises of the combined military and navy NATO forces dubbed Sea Shield 2019 which played its role of a perfect setup for the Black Sea Fleet to practice combat tasks in a realistic battle environment," the ministry said.
Earlier, the defense agency reported that Tu-160 strategic bombers held a training exercise over the Black Sea along with Su-27SM jets that took off from Crimea.
The NATO Sea Shield 2019 drills are being held in the Black sea region on April 9-13 and feature ships and jets from the US, Bulgaria, Greece, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey jointly with the Georgian and Ukrainian military representatives.