The Russian 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment, attached to the Northern Fleet Naval Aviation, have performed new drills.
Su-33 Flanker-D and Su-25UTG pilots performed daytime and nighttime drills aimed at intercepting off-shore targets and air fight—most likely dogfighting.
Sputnik International reported that the Northern Fleet press service issued a statement on the drills: “”Special attention has been paid to exercising the elements of elementary, advanced and stunt aerobatics at all altitudes, speeds, and accelerations. The crews of the carrier-based fighters also completed military exercises in intercepting off-shore high-altitude and high-speed targets, exercised skills in air combat using attack and defense maneuvers at mid- and low-level altitudes,” the Northern Fleet press service said in a statement.”
Intercepting targets is one of the hardest task for fighter pilots. It involves a lot of calculations and a simple mistake could cost the destruction of the aircraft. Hence why the Northern Fleet is presently conducting drills aimed at providing valuable experience for its pilots.
The Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker-D is a carrier-based air superiority fighter. Its primary task is to provide Russian warships with aerial defense against enemy aircrafts. The wings of the Su-33 Flanker-D are foldable for carrier operations.
Adding to that, the R-27EM missiles carried by the Su-33 can intercept anti-ship missiles. It also carries a RBK-500 cluster bomb, capable of damaging enemy warships or provide close air support to ground troops.
However, the Russian Navy is currently replacing the ageing Su-33—expected to retire in 2015—with Mikoyan MiG-29K Fulcrum-D.
The MiG-29K carries laser-guided and electro-optical bombs. It also carries air-to-surface missiles for anti-ship role and air-to-air missiles.
The Sukhoi Su-25UTG is a training aircraft designed to train pilots in takeoff and landing on aircraft carriers. The Su-25UTG was originally designed to provide close air support for the Soviet ground troops.
The interception drills are essential for the Northern Fleet Naval Aviation pilots. In fact, these drills provides the Northern Fleet pilots with valuable experience. If called upon, the pilots are required to successfully intercept and destroy enemy aircrafts.
The Northern Fleet is the backbone of the new Russian Arctic command. The readiness of every elements of the Fleet is essential to the continuing expansion of the Russian Armed Forces in the Arctic.