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Arctic zone priority for air force next year

MOSCOW, December 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Increasing presence in the Russian Arctic zone would be an air force priority next year, air force spokesman Igor Klimov told Itar-Tass on Monday.

Next training year, the service would extend its Arctic zone presence, retrain and train in new and modernized weapons and armor, improve military skills, rebuild test areas and training facilities and increase flight security, Klimov said.

Operations would switch from an "aviation base - aviation group" to a "division - regiment" structure, he added.

Defence procurement will supply the air force with Su-30SM, Su-30M2, Su-34, Su-35S, Yak-130 and An-148 aircraft. It will have Sky-M radar complexes, Podlyot low-level radar stations, S-400 air defense systems and the Pantsyr-S1 air defence missile and gun system.

New flight simulators will be installed in the towns of Lipetsk, Torzhok, Ryazan and Syzran. Helicopters Ka-52, Mi-28N, Mi-8ANTSH (MTV-5-1), Mi-35M, Mi-26, Ka-226 and Ansat-U will be supplied.

Klimov said the air force would take part in simulated warfare programs such as Vostok-2014, Indra-2014, Slavic Commonwealth-2014 and Selenga-2014.

“Experience obtained in the organisation of the Aviadarts army aviation competition in 2013 will help take similar contests to a higher level in 2014,” Klimov added.

Performances by pilot groups Russian Knights, Martins, Russian Falcons of the state center for training aviation personnel, and the helicopter group Golden Eagles would continue in Russia and abroad in 2014, the spokesman said.