Russia conducted a “surprise check” of 150 aircraft, both jets and rotorcraft, to test their combat readiness in case of deployment.
"As part of a surprise check of the troops of the Southern Military District, carried out in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, about 150 aircraft including jets, helicopters, operational-tactical planes, assault jets, and bombers of the Southern Military District were tested for readiness for relocation to operational airfields,” Southeast Military District said in a statement Friday.
The aircraft flew in combat formations, and were prepared for departure fully loaded with weapons.
“The sudden check was held to check combat readiness of the aircraft. Serious threats remain in the Southwest region. It was conducted also to prepare the military for the Caucasus-2020 strategic command and staff exercise. Fifty-six tactical exercises are planned,” Sergei Shoigu, Russian defense minister, was quoted as saying by Interfax.
The Caucasus-2020 military drills are scheduled to take place in September.
In all, 35 training grounds and 17 marine training fields in Black Sea and Caspian Sea will be covered under these “sudden checks” to be conducted until July 21, Interfax said. This includes over 149,000 people; 26,800 military equipment, 414 aircraft and 106 warships.