MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia has carried out target detection training to test the readiness of its S-400 air defence systems deployed in Crimea against the backdrop of NATO’s Sea Breeze drills in the Black Sea, spokesman for the Black Sea Fleet Capt. 2nd Rank Alexei Rulyov said on Tuesday.
The 2021 edition of the annual military exercise Sea Breeze kicked off in the northwestern part of the Black Sea on Monday, with the Russian Navy monitoring the movement of participating ships. The drills, which involve about 5,000 soldiers and 32 warships from 32 countries, will run through 10 July.
“The crews of aircraft and helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet and the air force formation of the Southern Military District conducted training with battalions of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and units of the Pantsir self-propelled missile and gun systems during a readiness check of the duty forces and air defence systems of the Crimean Peninsula”, Rulyov said.
In addition to Su-24, Su-27, and Su-30SM jets, Mi-8 and Ka-27 helicopters were used as control targets for air defence units.
The NATO-led Sea Breeze exercise has been co-hosted annually by the United States and Ukraine since 1997. The alliance says the exercise provides unique training opportunities to enhance readiness, improve collaboration, and interoperability.