Up to 20 military planes and helicopters with mixed Serbian and Russian crews have been taking part in the annual BARS-2017 joint war games that kicked off in Russia, some 500km from Moscow. The drills saw soldiers engage in combat missions and rescue operations.
Ruptly’s video shows MiG 29UB fighter jets taking off from the airfield in the Lipetsk Region where Russian airborne special forces performed landings from Mi-8 helicopters. Apart from honing their combat skills, the drills are also focused on accompanying tasks, such as fire extinguishing and search and rescue missions.
The exercises were aimed at “practical training, preparation and conduct of combat operations… to destroy illegal armed formations and perform search operations in a combat situation,” Russian Air Force officer Konstantin Surikov told Ruptly.
During the drills, which are set to wrap up by the end of this week, the mixed crews of MiG 29 UB fighter jets performed aerial stunts and fended off simulated enemy attacks. The flight maneuvers continue into the night when pilots master their landing skills in unfamiliar terrain, the Russian Defense Ministry reported Wednesday.
The drills involved intercepting long distance airborne targets and destroying targets on the ground with airborne weapons, as well as conducting free-flight rocket launches, air cover operations, dogfighting and forced landing of an enemy aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
According to a statement by the Serbian Defense Ministry, 17 Serbian pilots have been taking part in the exercises.
“Depending on the meteorological conditions during the next four days, Russian and Serbian pilots will exchange experience and knowledge in the field of combat use of aircraft in the armaments of both armies,” it said in a statement Thursday.
A total of 30 sorties have been carried out so far.
The first BARS war games were staged in 2015 near Astrakhan in southern Russia, and the event has since been staged annually.