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New types of weapons and hardware tested during Zapad-2017 drills

The exercise will last till September 20

MINSK, September 17. /TASS/. New types of weapons and military hardware, including those manufactured jointly by Russia and Belarus, are being used during the Zapad-2017 (West-2017) Russian-Belarusian strategic drills, Belarusian Defense Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Makarov said on Sunday.

"New and modernized weapons and military hardware made both domestically and jointly with Russia are being tested during the drills," he said.

Among the weapons and vehicles used during the drills are the Kaiman armored transport vehicle armed with a machinegun module, the Shershen anti-tank missile system mounted on the V-1 light-armor car, the Moskit unmanned aviation system, and the Polonez multiple missile launcher system.

The Belarus-made Kaiman mobile armored transport vehicle is meant for reconnaissance and subversive missions, patrolling and escorting convoys, peacekeeping and police operations. The vehicle is capable of developing a velocity of up to 110 kilometers per hour, moving across country, crossing water obstacles and swimming at a speed of up to eight kilometers per hour.

The Polonez multiple missile launcher system is meant for high precision fire at manpower, including sheltered, non-armored and armored military vehicles, artillery and missiles systems, aircraft at airdromes and other targets at a distance from 50 to 200 kilometers. Missiles fired from one Plonez system can hit eight targets at a time, with deviations from assigned coordinates at a maximum distance being below 30 meters.

A large-scale exercise Zapad-2017 began in Russia and Belarus on September 14. The drills are held at three proving grounds in Russia and six in Belarus involving 12,700 troops (7,200 Belarussian and 5,500 Russian), about 70 warplanes and helicopters, up to 680 ground vehicles, including about 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars and ten warships.

The main purpose of the exercise is to improve the compatibility of command and control centers, test new documentation and let commanders of all levels practice planning and control of operations on the basis of experience gained in the latest military conflicts.

The exercise will last till September 20.