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Russia displays strategic, tactical bombers at Zapad '09

A file photo of Russia's Tu-22 M3 bombers during a practice drill.

BARANOVICHI (BNS): Russia has displayed its military might at the ongoing Zapad 2009 war-games by engaging its strategic and tactical bombers in live-firing drills at a practice range here in Belarus, RIA Novosti reported.

“Today, Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers and Su-24M Fencer tactical bombers, which are equipped (with) a specialised computing subsystem SVP-24, conducted a series of live-firing drills aimed at destroying ground targets designated by a commander of a motorised infantry brigade,” Ground Forces spokesman Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky was quoted as saying on Sunday.

The SVP-24 allows target data to be automatically transmitted by on-ground spotters and received by ground attack aircraft during combat.

Drobyshevsky said the drill involved quick retargeting of the aircraft following a decision by a unit commander on the ground to shift priority to a new set of targets during an intense battle.

“Air strikes on these new targets were delivered with high precision in poor weather conditions from outside the effective range of the enemy's air defenses,” the spokesperson said.

The drills at the Obuz-Lesnovski range here were part of the Zapad (West) 2009 large-scale Russian-Belarusian military exercises which will conclude on Tuesday.

Around 13,000 defence personnel, 63 airplanes, 40 helicopters, 470 infantry fighting vehicles, 228 tanks and 234 artillery pieces from both the countries are taking part in the war-games.

Russia’s S-300 air defense missile systems also feature in the war exercise to test the effectiveness of unified regional anti-aircraft defense systems of Russia and Belarus, the report said.

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