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​Russia deploys 8,500 troops for artillery drills in south

Published time: March 13, 2014 11:20
Edited time: March 15, 2014 19:43

A BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher system (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

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Russia’s Defense Ministry has launched massive artillery drills in the Southern Military District involving some 8,500 troops and a large amount of hardware. It coincides with war games conducted by the country’s Airborne Troops.

Artillery units are to be deployed in 10 ranges as part of the training, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. They will demonstrate their tactical, technical and special skills and will carry out more than 50 field maneuvers.

“The event involves some 8,500 artillery troops and a large number of rocket artillery systems, military and special hardware, including Grad-M, Uragan and Smersh multiple rocket launchers, Msta-S 152-mm caliber self-propelled howitzers, Nona artillery systems and Rapira 100-mm caliber anti-tank guns,” the statement said.

About half of the shooting practice exercises will be carried out at nighttime. The drills are focused on inter-service cooperation between artillery units and motorized, armor, airborne and amphibious troops, the ministry said.

The artillery exercises coincide with large-scale war games by Russian Airborne Troops currently under way in the south and west of the country. On Thursday, some 1,500 airborne troops have been transported to a range in the Rostov Region for a massive simultaneous deployment.

Those drills, involving a total of 4,000 troops, 36 transport aircraft and 500 military vehicles, will continue through Friday.

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