An official source at the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD), says the Chistoye Nebo 2012 exercise is being conducted in Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik airspace from October 5 to October 16.
Tajikistan is represented at the exercise by the operational group of the Ministry of Defense, led by Colonel Saidahmad Umarov, the deputy commander of Air and Air Defense Forces.
The main purpose of the exercise is reportedly to rehearse interaction between air defense forces of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia within the CIS unified air defense system. The exercise’s scenario is based on intercepting cruise missile attack.
Meanwhile, RIA Novosti, referring to Russian Defense Ministry Air Force spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Deryabin, reports that Russian and Central Asian military pilots are carrying out joint exercises to repel missile strikes over Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
MiG-31 log-range interceptors, A-50U airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, Il-76 heavy transport planes, as well as anti-aircraft missile systems and radio equipment are being used in these training exercises.
Kazakhstan’s three airbases are reportedly hosting the active phase of the drills. It has also deployed five air defense brigades and command staff.
In line with the concept of the exercises, Kyrgyzstan is playing the role of a ‘designated adversary’ with its L-39 Albatros combat trainers and Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft.
Tajikistan is represented by Air Force command staff, Russian media sources report.