16:06 GMT09 July 2020
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    More than 2,000 servicemen from Russia as well as other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will participate in massive upcoming drills featuring long-range bombers, S-400 and S-300 air defense systems and other top-notch military equipment.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Combat Commonwealth-2017 drills of an integrated CIS air defense network will be held on September 4-8 at the Ashuluk range in the southern Russia's Astrakhan region in the country's south.

    "More than 2,000 servicemen and over 200 pieces of military equipment including S-400 Triumf and S-300 Favorit air defense missile systems, Pantsir-S systems as well as Tu-22M3 strategic bombers will take part in the joint Armed Forces’ drills of the CIS integrated defense network’s member states," the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that MiG-29, Su-27 and Su-30 fighters, Su-24 bombers, Su-25 close support fighters, Su-34 multipurpose fighter-bombers, MiG-31 interceptor jets and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters will also be used during the drills.

    The ministry pointed out that air defense units of six CIS states – Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia – would take part in the drills while other members of the integrated CIS air defense network would have an observer status.

    An integrated air defense network was set up by 10 CIS-member countries in 1995 and currently comprises air defense units and elements from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

    The primary purpose of the network is to ensure the protection of member countries' airspace, as well as early warning of missile attacks and coordination of joint efforts to neutralize potential air threats.


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    military drills, air defense, Tu-22M3, S-300, Su-27, S-400, Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia
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