Russia is all set to test-fire its S-300 and S-400 missile systems as part of a military exercise that has begun in the southwestern Astrakhan region, Igor Muginov, a spokesman for the country’s Western Military District announced Monday.
The missile systems are part of 1,500 pieces of military equipment involved in the drill, which kicked off earlier in the day under the guidance of Andrey Kartapolov, the commander of the Western Military District, according to Muginov.
“Participating in the exercise are air defense forces, combat aircraft, radio-technical troops, radio-electronic warfare troops, and reconnaissance and mechanized infantry units — 4,000 officers and men and 1,500 pieces of military equipment, including 50 planes and helicopters of tactical and army aviation,” Russia’s Tass news agency quoted Muginov as saying.
According to the Russian military, the troops will practice countermeasures against an imaginary enemy’s rocket and bomb strikes. In addition, the fighter jets and air defense units will hit targets simulating cruise missiles and attack and reconnaissance enemy drones, Tass reported.
“Around 50 targets will be involved simultaneously in the establishment of a target environment. They will be destroyed by the Buk, Tor, Osa, Tunguska and Strela-10 anti-aircraft missiles; Igla and Verba man-portable air-defense systems; as well as the S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems,” Muginov said.
On Thursday, Russia’s Western Military District troops were placed on high alert as part of snap combat readiness inspections nationwide. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced at the time that snap combat readiness checks would take place from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31 in the country’s Southern, Western and Central military districts, as well as in the Northern Fleet, Aerospace Forces and Airborne Troops.
The Russian Defense Ministry also published a video footage of the snap check firing practice Sunday:
Shoigu also said that the inspection will help Moscow evaluate how the three military districts would react to potential crises in Russia’s southwest.
Earlier this month, the Russian military had test-fired a new Iskander-M ballistic missile during an exercise in the Jewish Autonomous Region in the Far East. The missile reportedly hit several military infrastructure facilities of an imaginary enemy, including a command post.