Mr Shoigu briefed the President on the latest combat-readiness snap inspections of Aerospace Defence and Air Force units in the Western Military District, and of military transport and long-range aircraft.
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Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President,
As you instructed, we are continuing our snap inspections of the armed forces’ combat readiness. On May 27–29, we inspected aerospace defence units, air force units and air defences in the Western Military District, as well as military transport and long-range aviation command. In total, 8,700 people, 185 aircraft, and 240 military vehicles were involved.
On the first day, the units were suddenly put on alert and the military command centres went into combat regime. We checked the duty forces’ and air defences’ ability to guarantee protection of our airspace in the western part of Russia.
On the second day, the aerospace defence forces’ radar units built up a total radar field. Air force units did the aggressor evasion and redeployment drills.
On the third day, our forces had to respond to a mass air attack by a simulated enemy’s air task force of 100 aircraft. This gave us the chance to evaluate our units’ capabilities and the military personnel’s level of training in a simulated combat mission.
During the exercise, a unit of MiG-31 planes intercepted and destroyed for real an airborne cruise missile launched by a Tu-95 strategic bomber.
Combat units of four S-300 divisions of the Aerospace Defence Force were redeployed from Moscow Region to the Ashuluk test ground, where they were used to fire at airborne targets. The redeployed aircraft carried out airstrikes of targets at unfamiliar test grounds. Long-range aircraft were put on alert to carry out their set missions.
The exercise tested the role and place of the different Western Military District units and hardware involved in responding to an air or space-launched enemy attack.
Now we are conducting a thorough analysis of the results. We used a huge amount of video and photo equipment to record the aircrafts’ strikes against targets and their use in the air.
Once we have summed up the results we will hold a big review of the exercise. As you instructed at the start of the year, these kinds of exercises will continue.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: In the protected air defence zone that you specified, once you relocated forces and equipment from Moscow Region to the south of the country, how many strikes did the simulated enemy make on the test ground?
Sergei Shoigu: Launched from aircraft or counting all different means together?
Vladimir Putin: Using aircraft.
Sergei Shoigu: If we’re talking about rocket attacks, there were eleven strikes.
Vladimir Putin: And how many were intercepted?
Sergei Shoigu: Nine.
Vladimir Putin: That’s a satisfactory result in principle. I ask you to examine very thoroughly all of the issues and problems encountered during the exercise.
You already reported to me during our work that the most vulnerable area, as we discussed recently with the commanders at the meetings in Sochi, is the command and communications system. Please pay particular attention to this area.