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    Russian Air Force to China and India in military exercises

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    MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force will join China and India for military exercises, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Vladimir Mikhailov said Thursday.

    "Russian strategic aircraft, and also Su-24M2 bombers and Su-27SM fighters will practice mid-air refueling during military exercises in China and India, in addition to military and transport aviation," Mikhailov said on the eve of the Russian Air Force Day on August 12.

    These exercises allow pilots to "acquire valuable flight experience in various regions of the world, in unknown terrain and in varying climatic conditions," Mikhailov said.

    Mikhailov mentioned the Vostok-2005 military exercises conducted in Tajikistan in April - "Many doubted that the front-line aviation could accomplish its combat mission in adverse weather conditions. But despite snow in the mountains and limited visibility, Su-24 planes and modernized Su-27SM fighters took off from the Russian Kant base in Kyrgyzstan, covered almost 900 kilometers, destroyed targets at a Tajik testing ground, and safely returned home."

    The first Russian-Chinese anti-terrorist exercises will be held on August 18-25 in the Maritime Territory (the Russian Far East) and on Shandong Peninsula (northeastern China) and will involve 10,000 troops. Russia will send 1,800 troops, a group of Pacific Fleet ships, 17 long-range planes, other aircraft, and a marine infantry company.

    The first Russian-Indian anti-terror exercises, IndRo-2005, will be conducted in India in October 2005, and will involve the air force units from both countries. Russia and India plan to make these exercises an annual event.

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