Over 2,000 servicemen and 500 units of hardware are involved in field training of air defense units in southern Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"The field practice will end with a tactical drill. Crews will repel attacks of tactical aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and precision guidance weapons of a simulated enemy. They will also suppress the enemy's electronic warfare means to accomplish reconnoitering missions," says a report of the Southern Military District seen by Interfax-AVN on Thursday.
The practice will be held at twelve ranges in the Southern, North Caucasus and Crimean federal districts and Russian military bases in Armenia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia until April 10.
The crews will defend the airspace by use of Igla MANPADs, Tunguska missile and artillery systems, Shilka air defense artillery systems and S-300V, Strela-10, Tor and Osa air defense missile systems. Radar operators will have to deal with complex situations in the deterrence of massive missile and aircraft attacks of the simulated enemy, the report said.
"The field practice will focus on skills of Igla MANPADs operators. The best crews will participate in the 'Air Defense Master' international army games, to be held at a training center of the Ground Forces Air Defense Troops in the town of Yeisk in the Krasnodar territory in early August," it said.
The Russian missile defense system is known for its sophisticated capabilities. Even American forces have recently acknowledged this, with a former intelligence officer for the U.S. Air Force, declaring that Russia has one of the best missile defense systems on the planet.
The Verba (Willow) portable air defense missile system, which is capable of distinguishing its target from any interference, has joined the Russian forces, replacing the Igla-S. According to Russian experts, the new MANPADS exceed their foreign counterparts in their tactical and technical characteristics.
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