LUZHSKY RANGE /Leningrad region/, September 14. /TASS/. Sukhoi Su-34 bomber crews from the Russian Western Military District’s Air Force have destroyed the command centers of a notional enemy at the Luzhsky training ground in the Leningrad Region during the Russian-Belarusian joint strategic exercise Zapad-2021 (or West-2021), the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"The crews of Su-34 bombers and air defense teams from the Western Military District’s Air Force destroyed the notional enemy’s embedded ground command centers, infrastructure facilities and armored and motor vehicle convoys at the Luzhsky training range in the Leningrad Region," the statement reads.
According to the Defense Ministry, Sukhoi Su-24MR reconnaissance planes conducted preliminary sorties, detecting targets and providing their coordinates to the combat aircraft through secure communication channels. The ministry specified that during the tactical event, the pilot personnel of the bombers practiced using aviation bombs weighing up to 25 kilograms, employing the state-of-the-art computer subsystem SPV-24, which boosts the precision of aerial bombings.
Russia and Belarus hold strategic drills once in two years. Zapad-2021 is the final stage of joint military training this year. The two countries' forces are conducting drills on September 10-16 at nine sites in Russia, in the Baltic Sea, as well as at five military sites in Belarus. The exercise involves up to 200,000 troops, about 80 planes and helicopters, up to 760 combat vehicles, including 290 tanks, 240 artillery pieces and multiple rocket launchers, in addition to as many as 15 ships. The maximum number of personnel involved in the exercise, subject to the 2011 Vienna Document, on Russia’s territory does not exceed 6,400. All command centers and forces are planned to be back to their permanent locations by mid-October.