YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–A special air defense aviation group of the Russian military base in Armenia and the Armenian Air Defense unit had the first drill at the joint command post of the Armenian Air Force and Air Defense in Chobankara–the Etchmiadzin district of Armenia–on Thursday.
A week ago the two went on a joint combat duty within the framework of the CIS air defense system. "We have worked well," head of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff–First Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Mikhail Harutiunyan said on Thursday.
The drill was aimed at detecting the trespass of the Armenian and CIS airspace and make the trespasser land. Otherwise–they were to use air defense systems for destroying the enemy. Such drills will be held once a month–head of the Armenian Defense Ministry’s Air Defense Department Colonel Ararat Ambaryan said.
The separate air defense aviation group is assigned to the Russian military base stationed in Armenia by a decision of Russian Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeyev within the framework of the modernization of troops. In December and February the group received ten MiG-29 fighter jets which replaced the outdated MiG-23. In the near future the group will receive eight aircraft more–Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Colonel-General Anatoly Kornukov said when visiting Armenia a week ago. The military base in Gumri is also equipped with S-300 air defense systems.
The Russian military presence in Armenia is not directed against third countries and threatens none–official representatives of Russia and Armenia’say. In their words–the Russian military base is located in Armenia in accordance with the CIS Collective Security Treaty and the bilateral interstate and intergovernmental agreemen’s.