Tag: Sukhoi

Russia readies troops for Zapad war games with Belarus

Russia and Belarus are set to stage the Zapad 2017 war games, and the operation’s size is causing concern among Western observers. Moscow’s heavy troop presence has some worrying whether Minsk’s sovereignty is at risk.

Russian troops have been gathering in Belarus since Monday. The Zapad 2017 (West 2017) war games are slated to begin in September, with roughly 12,700 Russian soldiers officially participating, according to Moscow. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Russian officials for providing them with troop information, but said the games will nonetheless be closely monitored.

Read more: What are Russia’s Zapad war games?

War games exceeding 13,000 troops require the presence of external observers, as stipulated by the Vienna Document, a security agreement among the participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which includes Russia. Western observers fear Russia will break the agreed limit on troop participation. Opposition voices in Belarus, a Russian ally, worry that Russian troops will remain in the country following the exercises to de facto occupy the country.

Regional concern grows

Russia’s military build up to its West is worrying Belarus’ neighbors – Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states – which were all under Moscow’s control during the Soviet era. Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said there are 100,000 Russian troops that President Vladimir Putin wants to use to “put NATO to the test.”

The Zapad military exercises were previously held in 2013 and 2009

That number may refer to Russia’s total troop presence in the larger region for the exercises, Margarete Klein of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) told DW. The military exercises are taking place both in Russia and Belarus, she said, however a lot of speculation surrounds the operation.

“We just have to wait to see what happens,” Klein said. “It’s difficult to talk in advance about what the numbers may mean.”

Doubting the numbers

Russian military expert Alexander Golz pointed out that the Zapad war games extend beyond Belarus, as the Belarusian military announced they are to stretch from Russia’s Kola Peninsula near Finland to the western exclave of Kaliningrad in the Baltic region. Thus troops are being amassed not just in Belarus, but in Russia as well, he said, adding that Moscow has a history of playing fast and loose with troop numbers.

“Russia had a curious interpretation of the Vienna Document during the conflict in the Donbass,” Golz told DW, explaining that Moscow’s troop deployment to the country’s border with eastern Ukraine was said to be part of a military exercise so that the Kremlin could claim its soldiers’ presence did not exceed the Vienna Document’s limit.

Lukashenko, Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu coordinated for Zapad 2013

Everything above board?

Russia’s Defense Ministry has ordered about 4,000 rail cars, according to media reports, for troop transports to Belarus – more than previous exercises, including 1,000 more than for Zapad 2013, Alexander Alessin, a Belarusian military expert, told DW. Zapad 2017 would remain within the permissible limits, he said, calculating for up to 30 tons of equipment per soldier.

Prospects for Belarusian sovereignty

A post-operation occupation of Belarus is unlikely, Alessin said, because “occupying [Russia’s] only ally would undermine faith in the Kremlin, including with its potential partners.” It would also undermine Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s credibility – at home and abroad, which is in neither side’s interest. Alessin cited Belarus’ denial of Russia’s 2013 request to maintain airbases there.

Lukashenko is unlikely to allow Russian troops to remain in the country following the September maneuvers, Alexander Golz said. For 20 years, Lukashenko has been receiving money from Russia, he said, and therefore has always underscored Belarus’ strategic importance to Russia as an outpost. “As far as Russian military bases in Belarus go,” Golz added, “Lukashenko turned 180 degrees. Interestingly, Putin had to swallow that.”

 

 

 

Baltic Fleet’s air pilots conduct missile firing practice near Kaliningrad

KALININGRAD, August 14. /TASS/. More than 20 planes and helicopters and 500 troops from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation base are involved in flight and tactical exercise and missile firing and bombing practices at a proving ground in the Kaliningrad Region, the fleet’s spokesman, Roman Martov, told TASS.

“Participating in the routine exercise are more than 20 crews of Sukhoi-27 and Sukhoi-24 planes and military transport helicopters Mi-24 and Mi-8, as well as deck helicopters Ka-27, and military transport planes Antonov-26,” he said.

The participating forces provide fire support for ground forces, destroy command centers, armored vehicles and manpower of a hypothetical enemy, conduct air reconnaissance and destroy air targets and search for and eliminate submarines of a hypothetical enemy.

In both daytime and at night air crews launch guided and unguided missiles of different class, drop bombs ranging 100 kilograms to 500 kilograms and practice maneuvering in dog fight and approach targets in adverse radio-electronic warfare conditions.

A total of 30 combat training flights are due, Martov said.

 

 

 

Russian Aerospace Force to get over hundred aircraft in 2017

Russian Sukhoi Su-35S Multi-role Heavy Fighter

Russia’s Aerospace Force will get over 70 aircraft and helicopters, as well as more than 40 air defense missile systems until the end of this year, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday.

“Over 70 aircraft, more than 40 air defense missile systems and about 70 radar stations will arrive for Aerospace Force units until the end of the year,” he said.

Russia’s Aerospace Force has already received about 50 new aircraft this year: Sukhoi Su-34, Su-35S, Su-30SM, Yak-130 planes, Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters, Mil Mi-8 AMTSh and Mi-8MTV-5-1 military transport helicopters and also over 20 standby and alert radar stations, the commander said.

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Multi-role Attack Aircraft

“Besides, the industry is finalizing and delivering satellites, military carrier rockets and radars characterized by the high degree of their readiness for ensuring a closed field of missile attack warning.

Let me note that special attention during the planning of the Aerospace Force’s hardware upgrade was paid to constant alert units and formations where armament and military hardware had considerably used up their potential,” Bondarev said.

 

 

 

 

 

Russia’s 5th-generation fighter jet named as Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 Russian Fifth Generation Fighter

Russia’s T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter jet has received the serial index of Su-57, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the website of Zvezda TV Channel on Friday.

“The decision has been made and the plane has got its name like a child after the birth. Su-57 is how we now call it,” Bondarev said.

Media reports earlier said citing sources in the aircraft-building industry that the T-50 fighter would be named as the Su-57.

The PAK FA (Perspective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation) took to the skies for the first time in 2010. As was reported earlier, the experimental design work on the cutting-edge fighter jet should be completed in 2019 and its deliveries to the troops should begin at that time. As United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar said, the pre-production batch will consist of 12 such planes.

It was reported that the T-50 with the advanced (main) engine would perform its debut flight in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Currently, the so-called first stage engine 117S is mounted on the Russian fighter. A new engine has not yet received its name and is conventionally designated as the second stage engine.

 

 

 

Marine drills involving over 2,000 troops take place in Russia’s West

Vladimir Rodionov/TASS

KALININGRAD, August 10. /TASS/. More than 2,000 marine troops participated in tactical drills involving a marine brigade and the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which were held at the Khmelyovka training range in the Kaliningrad region, Fleet Spokesman Roman Martov told TASS.

“The drills were aimed at training the skills of seizing coastal areas and driving the enemy forces out of them,” he said. According to the fleet spokesman, the exercises involved more than 2,000 troops, as well as over 100 pieces of military hardware, including 20 warships, boats and supply vessels, 12 planes and helicopters from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aircraft units.”

The Russian Federation enclave of Kaliningrad

Besides, tanks, the Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and Shilka self-propelled antiaircraft guns, as well as other military hardware, was also used during the marine drills. At the same time, the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters performed missile attacks on the simulated enemy’s positions. A Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters delivered a marine assault group to the drills site, while an air assault group arrived in an Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.

Baltic Fleet Su-24M/MRs from the 4th Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment – Chernyakhovsk Air Base contribute to the amphibious landings.

“During the exercises, ships carrying marine assault groups trained to suppress the simulated enemy’s coastal strongpoints and honed the tactics of military activities behind enemy’s lines, which particularly involve marine assault groups.

To create an environment close to that of an actual military operation, more than five tonnes of various simulated munitions were used.

 

 

 

 

Bulgaria considers Russian assistance in overhauling MiG-29s, Su-25s

A MiG – 29A Fulcrum fighter jet from the Bulgarian Air Force, standing by for NATO’s Air Policing mission at Graf Ignatievo Airbase, Bulgaria. – NATO photo by Cynthia Vernat, Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

The serious delays in the ongoing BGN1.5 billion (USD898 million) process for the acquisition of eight new jet fighters for the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) has resulted in the nation’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) now seriously considering the possibility of co-operation with the Russian aerospace and defence industry in the general overhaul and modernisation of Bulgaria’s existing fleet of 15 MiG-29 jet fighters and 14 Su-25 ground attack aircraft.

In an interview with Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) on 21 July, Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov revealed that he recently met the management of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG) to discuss options for logistical support of Bulgarian MiG-29s.

Bulgaria received  2 Klimov RD-33 engines for its MiG-29 fighters, which were overhauled by Polish military overhaul facilities. They were delivered to the Graf Ignatievo air base. The overhaul facilities started work on the last two Bulgarian engines last year, which were included as part of a package deal between Bulgaria and Poland.

The minister also revealed, that at the end of December 2015, two Polish RD-33 were delivered to Graf Ignatievo AB, which Warsaw provided to Sofia on a temporary basis. It was agreed, that they will not be used for more than 200 engine hours or 2 years. Moscow has stated that the overhaul of these engines by the Polish military was ‘Illegitimate’ and will now discuss options for ‘legitimate’ maintenance support for the Bulgarian MiG-29 fleet.

 

Russian Navy gets 2 new Sukhoi Su-30SMs, Kalibr Cruise Missiles, Torpedoes and a Corvette

Sovershenny Corvette Project 20380 was delivered to the Russian Navy on July 20.

Russia’s Navy received 60 cruise missiles Kalibr and 42 torpedoes from the manufacturers over the past three months, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Wednesday.

“Two naval aircraft Sukhoi-30SM, more than 60 cruise missiles Kalibr and 42 torpedoes were provided for the Navy,” he said.

Also, he recalled that the flag-hoisting ceremony took place on The Sovershenny corvette of project 20380 on July 20. The ship built at the Amur shipyards was handed over to the Navy.

“On the acceptance list there are also three submarines, which have undergone repairs in docks, two raider boats, a pier of project 15163 and a large antisabotage boat,” Borisov said.

He recalled that on June 26 the nuclear powered submarine Yuri Dolgoruky of project 955 carried out a submerged launch of a ballistic missile Bulava to hit a target at the Kura proving ground in the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.

 

Pentagon: Chinese fighters intercepted US Navy spy plane

Two Chinese fighter jets performed a dangerous intercept of an American spy plane Sunday over the East China Sea, forcing the Navy EP-3 reconnaissance jet to maneuver to avoid a mid-air collision, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.

The American pilots deemed the interaction with the Chinese J-10 jets “unsafe and unprofessional” after one of the fighters flew underneath the American plane at a high rate of speed before slowing down and pulling up into the EP-3’s flight path, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The Navy aircraft’s collision detection warning sounded and the pilot took “evasive action” to avoid the Chinese jet.

PLAAF Chengdu J-10A

The incident occurred late in the morning Sunday in international airspace, about 90 miles south of Qingdao, a Chinese port city north of Shanghai, Davis said.

The J-10 that performed the unsafe maneuver, essentially “cutting off” the American plane, flew within about 300 feet of the EP-3, a U.S. defense official said on condition of anonymity.

Davis said interactions with Chinese military aircraft are rarely unsafe.

“There are intercepts that occur in international airspace regularly,” Davis told reporters at the Pentagon. “The vast majority of them are conducted in a safe manner. This was the exception, not the norm.”

The incident followed two similar intercepts of American military aircraft by Chinese fighter jets in May.

Two Chinese J-10s performed an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a Navy P-3 Orion over the South China Sea on May 24. One of the fighters maneuvered within 100 feet of the American plane off the coast of Hong Kong in that incident, the Pentagon said.

On May 18, Two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets intercepted an Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix, known as a “nuclear sniffer” plane, over the East China Sea. In that incident, one of the planes maneuvered with about 150 feet of the American plane, flying inverted above the WC-135, Pentagon officials said.

Source: Stars and Stripes.

 

MAKS-2017 airshow yields contracts to over $6bln – Russian ministry of industry and trade

The international airshow MAKS-2017 has yielded contracts and agreements to a total sum of 400 billion rubles (6.74 billion U.S. dollars), the Russian ministry of industry and trade said on Sunday.

“MAKS-2017 has yielded big opportunities for aircraft manufacturers, with contracts and agreements for supplies of Russian-made aircraft standing about 400 billion rubles. It is important that MAKS is becoming a business platform and participation in it is not just a matter of prestige but an efficient instrument for establishing partner relations. Over three days, MatchMaking talks were held mostly with small-and medium-sized companies,” Minister Denis Manturov said.

Among MAKS’ biggest deals were a contract for the supplies of 20 Sukhoi Superjet 100 planes to Aeroflot – Russian Airlines and a contract on operational lease of 16 MC-21 planes, including four airlines with domestically manufactured PD-14 engines, with the Red Wings air carrier. In all, about 180 foreign manufacturers from 35 world nations took part in the airshow. More than 1,000 companies conducted more than 1,500 talks.

A number of new developments, including a generation 4++ MiG-35 fighter jet and a Mi-171Sh-VN helicopter for special operations, were presented at the airshow.

The international airshow MAKS-2017 was held in Zhukovsky outside Moscow from July 18 through 23 and was visited by more than 452,000 people.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.

 

Chinese Navy warships arrive in Russian Baltic port for joint drills

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

A group of Chinese Navy warships led by the missile destroyer Hefei has arrived in the port of Baltiysk in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region for joint Russia-China drills dubbed the Joint Sea-2017, Baltic Fleet spokesman Roman Martov told TASS on Friday.

“The Chinese naval group includes the frigate Yuncheng and the supply vessel Luoma Lake, apart from the destroyer Hefei,” the spokesman said.

The Chinese sailors were received by representatives of the Command of the Russian Navy, the Baltic Fleet, China’s diplomatic corps and a guard of honor in the port of Baltiysk.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Navy Vice-Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov and Deputy Commander of the Chinese Navy Vice-Admiral Tian Zhong who are in charge of the drills noted that the maneuvers were not aimed against other countries.

The drills will be the first in the history of interaction of the Chinese Navy and the Russian Baltic Fleet and will aim to practice joint operations at sea, on the ground and in the air.

During the active phase of the drills that will be held on July 25-26 in the Baltic Sea, the sailors will practice anti-saboteur, antiaircraft and anti-ship defense. The warships’ crews will deliver fire against various surface and air targets and organize joint operations for rescuing a person falling overboard and providing aid to a ship in distress.

The Baltic Fleet’s corvettes Steregushchiy and Boiky, a rescue tug and shipborne Kamov Ka-27 multipurpose helicopters, Sukhoi Su-24 tactical frontline bombers and Antonov An-26 military and transport planes will represent the Russian Navy in the joint drills.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.