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    Moscow air defense units to hold live-fire drills in south Russia

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    Air defense units from the Moscow military district will conduct live-fire exercises Thursday using Buk-M1 air defense systems, a Russian Ground Forces spokesman said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Air defense units from the Moscow military district will conduct live-fire exercises Thursday using Buk-M1 air defense systems, a Russian Ground Forces spokesman said Tuesday. (Russian mobile surface-to-air missile systems - Image gallery)

    The units started a series of tactical exercises Monday at the Kapustin Yar testing grounds in southern Russia, involving 1,500 personnel and about 400 combat and support vehicles.

    "At the final stage of the exercises the Buk-M1 systems in service with the units from the Moscow military district will fire missiles at target drones," Col. Igor Konashenkov said.

    The Buk-M1 medium-range mobile air defense system (SA-11 Gadfly) is designed to engage maneuverable fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise and ballistic missiles, and remote-controlled drones.

    It has a target acquisition range of up to 50 km (31 miles), maximum target altitude around 25 km (82,000ft), and can intercept targets flying at a maximum speed of about Mach 4.

    The system comprises a command post, a target acquisition radar, and up to six loader-launcher vehicles each carrying four 9M38 ground-to-air missiles.

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