A couple Air Forces items of interest today . . . .
A major live-fire exercise is taking place in the Far East today and tomorrow. According to RIA Novosti, about 20 aircraft from the Far East Air Forces and Air Defense Army will fire more than 30 air-to-air missiles over the ‘Endurance Bay’ range on Sakhalin Island.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said the aircraft are Dzemgi-based Su-27 fighters, and they’ll perform both day and night firings. He emphasized that junior pilots will participate in the exercise.
There’s no readily available indication of the last time the Russian Air Forces conducted live-fire air-to-air training on this scale, so one presumes it’s been a while.
Visiting Voronezh today, Air Forces CINC, General-Colonel Zelin said the city’s air base — soon to be one of Russia’s largest — will get four Su-34 bombers by year’s end. The air base will be a first rank one, with 100 or more aircraft.
RIA Novosti reports the base’s expansion isn’t making nearby residents happy. Those who object to it say its noise exceeds permissible levels, and causes headaches and sleeplessness.
On the Su-34s, Zelin said:
“I was recently at Novosibirsk aircraft plant. One aircraft was already in flight test status. The remainder are already in final assembly.”