MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. The Russian strategic nuclear forces’ drills Thunder 2019 are defensive and are not aimed against other states, acting Head of the Defense Ministry’s Main Department for International Military Cooperation Major General Yevgeny Ilyin said at a news briefing for foreign attaches on Monday.
"The strategic command and staff drills Thunder 2019 are aimed at practicing the issues of training and employing strategic forces amid a threat of an aggression <…> I would like to emphasize that the drills’ scenario does not stipulate measures to counter any specific state or a group of countries," the Russian general stated.
The drills are of planned and solely defensive nature and are intended to train troops to implement measures for containing a potential enemy and enable the military to learn new methods of employing manpower and armament, organizing command and control and ensuring inter-operability and all-embracing support in the course of accomplishing assigned missions, he stressed.
Russia is providing data on these drills on its own initiative, although the provision of information on this type of a military exercise is not required by any of its international commitments, the general noted. About 100 foreign military attaches attended the news briefing.
According to the Defense Ministry, the drills of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force will take place on October 15-17 and will involve 12,000 troops, 213 missile launchers, 105 aircraft, including five strategic missile-carrying aircraft, 15 surface ships and five submarines and 310 items of military and special hardware.
Russia to test-fire Yars and Sineva ICBMs during Strategic Missile Force’s drills
Russia will test-fire 16 cruise and ballistic missiles, including Yars and Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during its Strategic Missile Force’s drills, the general specified.
"The drills envisage 16 test-launches of cruise and ballistic missiles. Ten aerodromes across the country will be used for aircraft operations," he said.
Airborne cruise and aircraft missiles will be launched at four aviation ranges of Russia’s Western, Southern and Central Military Districts and its Northern Fleet, the general went on.
"Two RSM-50 [NATO reporting name: SS-N-18] ballistic missiles will be launched towards the Chizha firing range. Also, a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile (SS-29) and a Sineva ballistic missile (SS-N-23) will be fired towards the Kura practice range," the general specified.
Also, "seaborne cruise missiles will be test-fired at the naval ranges in the Barents, Baltic, Black, Caspian and Okhotsk Seas," he added.
Russia to practice new methods of strategic nuclear forces’ command and control in drills
Russia’s strategic nuclear forces will practice new methods of troops’ command and control during the exercise Thunder 2019, under the scenario of which the military will repel a threat to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the general said.
"The drills’ scenario envisages that the situation escalates along the perimeter of the Russian borders amid the persisting conflict potential, as a result of which a threat emerges to the country’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity," Ilyin reported.
"In the course of accomplishing training missions, the forces will practice new methods of exercising command and control of units and formations in present-day conditions of their employment," the general commented.
During the drills, the commanding staff will continue improving the skills of organizing troops’ command and control and implementing measures for containing a potential enemy, the general said.
"Following the drills, all the participating troops and forces will be given marks for their readiness to accomplish assigned missions," the general stressed.
No foreign military contingents to take part
The strategic nuclear forces’ drills Thunder 2019 will take place only at Russian practice ranges and foreign contingents will not be involved in the military exercise, the general pledged.
"I would like to stress that all the areas of the drills are located solely on the territory of the Russian Federation. Foreign contingents will not be involved in the drills," the general said.
As the Russian general specified, the exercise Thunder 2019 will engage units and formations of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, the commands of long-range and military transport aviation, units and formations of the Western, Southern, Central and Eastern Military Districts and the Northern Fleet.
"The drills will also engage the forces and resources providing for the operations of strategic nuclear deterrence groupings. Operational groups will be formed in military command centers to take part in the drills," the general pointed out.
The drills will practice deploying strategic force groupings, preparing them for employing long-range precision weapons and providing all-embracing support for combat operations in the areas of the troops’ employment, he said.
"All-out support measures envisage troops’ operations to counter an enemy’s subversive and reconnaissance activity and enhance military facilities’ protection and defense," the Russian general stated.