Russian long-range strategic bombers expected to participate in military exercise in Tajikistan

11/03/2016 15:25
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, March 11, 2016, Asia-Plus – Russian long-range strategic and maritime strike bombers TU-22M3 have arrived at the Ayni airfield in Tajikistan from the air base Tolmachyovo in Russia’s Novosibirsk oblast for participation in a joint military exercise of Tajik and Russian armed forces, Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin, a spokesman for Russia’s Central Military District, was cited as saying by Russian website Thisnetry.ru on March 11.

Russian long-range strategic and maritime strike bombers will conduct training missions in Central Asia’s air space for the first time over the past thirty years.

Besides, jet aircraft Su-25, combat helicopters Mi-24 and transport helicopters Mi-8 reportedly arrived at tactical airfields in Tajikistan from the air bases Tolmachyovo in Russia and Kant in Kyrgyzstan on March 10, according to the Russian Central Military District press center.

A Tajik-Russian joint military exercise that will be conducted at five training grounds in Tajikistan from March 15-20 will involve 950 armored fighting vehicles and artillery as well as 32 combat and military transport aircraft. 

According to Colonel Faridoun Mahmadaliyev, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD), the exercise is expected to involve approximately 50,000 people, including soldiers, reservists, local police, and civilian support services of Tajikistan.  Besides, 2,000 Russian soldiers and officers will also participate in the upcoming exercise that will be conducted at the Lohour, Sumbula, Momirak, Harbmaydon, and Halqayor training grounds.

Meanwhile, military medics have completed sanitary-epidemiological reconnaissance at the training grounds provided for the military exercise.

The Russian Central Military District press center says the sanitary-epidemiological reconnaissance was conducted at the Lohour, Momirak, Harbmaydon and Halqayor training grounds on March 9.

We will recall that Russia’s Antonov-124s have airlifted military equipment and other supplies to Tajikistan for a joint Tajik-Russian military exercise.

Mobile management point and automated communications engineering systems as well as military police units have been airlifted to Tajikistan.

The joint military exercise reportedly involves military management bodies of the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan and Russia’s Central Military District, motor-rifle, tank and paratrooper units, as well as sappers and military medics.  A joint air force group and drones will provide an air support.

The purpose of the exercise is reportedly to rehearse coordination and interaction in combat missions in mountains.

The Tupolev Tu-22M (NATO reporting name: Backfire) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau.  According to some sources, the bomber was believed to be designated Tu-26 at one time.  Significant numbers remain in service with the Russian Air Force, and as of 2014 more than 100 Tu-22Ms are in use.

The Tu-22M3 (NATO: Backfire C), which first flew in 1976 and entered service in 1983, had new NK-25 engines with substantially more power, wedge-shaped intake ramps similar to the MiG-25, wings with greater maximum sweep, and a recontoured nose housing a new Leninets PN-AD radar and NK-45 nav/attack system, which provides much-improved low-altitude flight.  It had a revised tail turret with a single cannon, and provision for an internal rotary launcher for the Raduga Kh-15 missile, similar to the American AGM-69 SRAM. It was nicknamed Troika ('Trio' or third) in Russian service. 

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