The air defence forces of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan are to hold joint exercises this month and in early August.

The manoeuvres will include test firings of the Grushin S-200V(SA-5 Gammon) and Almaz S-300 (SA-10 Grumble) surface-to-air missiles, says Lt Gen Yuri Bondarev, Russian deputy air force commander in charge of the Commonwealth of Independent States unified air defence system.

Exercise Combat Commonwealth 2001 will be held between 18 and 22 June, during which six S-200V live firings will take place at the Telemba testing ground in the Chita region of south-east Russia.

A second stage in the exercises will take place from 1 to 3 August when two Belarussian S-300 battalions and three Russian Baltic fleet battalions will conduct live firings.

Further joint training is planned for late August at the Ashuluk testing ground in Russia's Astrakhan region and the Sary-Shagan test range in Kazakhstan.

Source: Flight International