MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Air Force has begun a large-scale exercise in the west of the country involving the "biggest-ever deployment of the service's new Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft," a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
The exercise, centered on the Voronezh airbase, will involve over 40 aircraft and helicopters from the Western Military District, 10 military airfields and two military testing ranges, military district press service chief Oleg Kochetkov said.
The Su-34s will fly more than 80 sorties, covering over 4,000 km (2,500 miles), and performing simulated strike missions in the airspace of 15 military-administrative areas within the Western Military District, he said.
The exercise will see two Su-34 squadrons attack simulated enemy air and ground targets including airfields, which will be defended by Su-27 and MiG-31 interceptor aircraft and air defense systems, the spokesman said.
The war games will also include maneuvering to evade the enemy’s air defense and electronic jamming systems, aerial reconnaissance and midair refueling, he said.