Over 30 air-defense missile systems of the Russian Airborne Troops’ air defense units have destroyed high-speed drones of a simulated adversary in a border area of the northwestern Pskov region, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
“During the Zapad-2017 military exercise, paratroopers destroyed about 40 high-speed ‘drones’ of the simulated enemy. The targets were destroyed with Strela-10M vehicle-mounted surface-to-air missile systems (NATO reporting name is SA-13 ‘Gopher’), Igla man-portable air defense systems (NATO reporting name is Grouse) and machine guns mounted on BTR-D [armored personnel carriers],” the defense ministry said.
Small air targets were spotted while scanning the sky in conditions of low cloud at altitudes of up to 800 meters.
“Leading elements of the Airborne Troops’ air defense opened fire, destroying all the detected targets,” the ministry said.
A large-scale exercise Zapad-2017 began in Russia and Belarus on Thursday at three proving grounds in Russia and six in Belarus with 12,700 troops (7,200 Belarussian and 5,500 Russian ones taking part). Also involved in the exercise are about 70 planes and helicopters, 680 ground vehicles, including about 250 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers and mortars and ten ships.
The main purpose of the exercise is to improve the compatibility of command and control centers, test new documentation and let commanders of all levels practice planning and control of operations on the basis of experience gained in the latest military conflicts.
The exercise will last till September 20.