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Airborne regiment with combat vehicles to be airdropped during Tsentr-2019 drills

Over 1,500 personnel and over 200 pieces of combat hardware will be airdropped from 80 planes

MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. For the first time ever in the history of the modern Russian armed forces, an entire regiment of paratroopers and 200 combat vehicles will be airdropped as part of the Tsentr-2019 exercises in the Orenburg region in Russia’s southern Urals, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service said on Thursday.

"For the first time in history, an airborne regiment will be airdropped in full strength, together with combat equipment," the ministry said.

"Over 1,500 personnel and over 200 pieces of combat hardware will be airdropped from Il-76MD military transport planes on two separate landing sites," it said.

A total of 80 Il-76 aircraft of Russia’s Military Transport Aviation will be used in the operation.

The all-time record for Russia and the Soviet Union was set in 1981, when over 6,000 people and 325 pieces of military equipment were airdropped from Il-76, An-12 and An-22 planes during the Zapad-81 strategic exercises.

All in all, the strategic command-and-staff exercise Tsentr-2019 will involve 128,000 troops, more than 20,000 pieces of military equipment, 600 aircraft and 15 warships and auxiliary vessels. The main operations will be conducted on September 16-21 at training ranges in South Russia, Siberia and Urals and in the Caspian Sea. Servicemen from Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will take part.