20 Sep 2017 17:04

Russian aircraft crews engaged in Zapad 2017 exercises returning to permanent bases - Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Sept 20 (Interfax) - The Russian aircraft that were involved in the Zapad 2017 (West 2017) strategic exercise, including in Belarusian territory, have started returning to their permanent bases, the Russian Defense Ministry told Interfax.

"The Sukhoi Su-35S, Mikoyan MiG-31BM, MiG-29SMT, Su-30SM, Su-24M, Su-34, and Su-25 planes and also the Mil Mi-28N, Mi-35, Mi-8, and Kamov Ka-52 helicopters that were involved in various episodes of the exercise, including those conducted in Belarus, will be flown to their base airfields within the next two days," he said.

"During the exercise, Aerospace Forces and Western Military District crews, despite adverse weather conditions, practiced virtually the entire spectrum of intended missions, including tactical taskforce landing, aerial support of ground troops, the interception of aerial targets, the delivery of airstrikes upon ground targets, and others," it said.

The Russian-Belarusian strategic exercise Zapad 2017 has been held in Russia and Belarus on September 14-20. The exercise is a planned one and is held once in every two years.

The exercise has involved up to 12,700 servicemen, up to 70 planes and helicopters, up to 680 units of military hardware, including 250 tanks, up to 200 artillery systems, multiple rocket launchers and mortars, and up to ten naval vessels.