Massive air defense drills from October in Central Asia


BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – It looks like Uzbekistan has gone far away from Russia as it is not attending joint exercises with the Collective Rapid Response Forces CSTO “Interaction-2012 on September 15-19 in the Republic of Armenia, nor is it attending joint command-and-staff air defense drills on October 5-16.

CSTO Collective Rapid Response Forces are being attended by special forces and task forces of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan and joint command-and-staff air defense drills starting from October 5 are attending by Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. The Chistoye Nebo (Clear Sky) 2012 exercise will be held in Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Kazakh airspace and involve the interception of cruise missiles.

Russia will be represented by a group of experts from Air Force staff and MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors and an A-50 Mainstay AWACS plane deployed at the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan’s three airbases will host the active phase of the drills. The former Soviet republic will also deploy five air defense brigades and command staff.

In line with the concept of the exercises, Kyrgyzstan will play the role of a “designated adversary” with its L-39 Albatros combat trainers and Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft.

Tajikistan will be represented by Air Force command staff. The exercises will be held as part of military cooperation among countries-members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and emphasize the air defense of the bloc from the southern direction.