Tajik-Russian joint military exercise launched in Tajikistan today

14/03/2016 11:44
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, March 14, 2016, Asia-Plus – The main stage of a joint military exercise of the armed forces of Tajikistan and Russia is starting in Tajikistan today, according to the Russian Central Military District press center.

The military exercise that is being conducted at the Lohour, Momirak, Harbmaydon, and Halqayor training grounds reportedly involves military management bodies of the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan and the Russian Central Military District, motor rifle, tank, artillery and airborne units of the two countries. A joint air force group and drones are reportedly providing an air support.

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.

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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