Airborne early warning and control system aircraft A-50 have steered Russian, Kazakhstani and Belarusian fighter jets towards supersonic targets in air defense drills of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the press office of Russia’s Defense Ministry reported today.
“The crews of A-50 planes have flown to build up the radar field in the area of their air patrol where cabin crews have performed tasks to steer Russian fighter jets Sukhoi Su-27, Mikoyan MiG-29, Kazakhstani and Belarusian fighter aircraft Su-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 to intercept supersonic and stratospheric targets imitated by air defense on-duty planes MiG-31 that have taken off from Russian military airfields,” the press office said in a statement obtained by TASS.
According to the press office, the A-50 planes stayed in the air for more than five hours at altitudes of 9,000 to 10,000 meters and steered fighter jets towards targets over 20 times.
The drills of the CIS joint air defense system kicked off on Wednesday in the airspace of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. The military exercises involve about 100 combat planes, units of radio-technical forces and air defense troops of seven CIS countries.
The drills aim to practice measures by air defense on-duty planes against aircraft violating the CIS airspace, in case of plane hijacking and the provision of assistance to the crews of aircraft and helicopters in distress.