Russia scrambled more than 20 fighters in Crimea

Air force units from the Southern Military District of Russia are training to repel a massive raid of imaginary enemies as part of the Caucasus-2016 exercises, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported Thursday.

"As part of the Caucasus-2016 exercises more than 20 fighter planes of the Southern Military District (SMD) were scrambled in 10 minutes to repel a massive air attack by the imaginary enemy. The crews of Su-30SM, Su-30M2 and Su-27SM3 fighter planes of the 4th Army Air Force and Air Defense and the Black Sea fleet took off from airfields in Krymsk, Belbek and Saki to intercept the aircraft," the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Russian Ministry of Defense said to Interfax-ABN.

The Ministry also announced that "in order to prevent enemy aircraft from penetrating into SMD airspace, the crews of anti-aircraft missile systems S-400, S-300 and surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon Pantsir-S  trained in executing the simulated task."

"Aircraft crews and anti-aircraft missile troops of the Southern Military District performed simulated launches of guided anti-air missile armaments and anti-aircraft missiles at all detected air targets," the Defense Ministry reported.

The roles of the imaginary enemy were performed by pilots of the Long Range and Military Transport Aviation of the Aerospace Forces, as well as the operational-tactical and army aviation of the Western (WMD) and Central (CMD) Military Districts.

"In order to make the work more complicated for the radar detection station crews, when the air targets were detected more than 50 crews of the Aerospace Forces, WMD and CMD simultaneously entered the air defense zone of the SMD at different speeds, altitudes and directions," the military reported.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, during the exercise, pilots of the Tu-22M3 long-range bombers flew at supersonic speeds while the crews of Tu-95MS rocket carriers flew at high altitude.

  Russia, Crimea, exercises