Center-2019: 128,000 troops participate in massive Russia, China & India drill (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Moscow has launched a large-scale military exercise alongside China and India, with maneuvers spanning from the Caspian Sea to Central Asia.
The Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) drill, which kicked off on Monday, amasses around 128,000 troops, with more than 20,000 pieces of hardware, conducting maneuvers in southern Russia and Central Asia.
Russian servicemen are joined by fellow soldiers from China, India, and Pakistan, along with personnel from four Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
The T-72 main battle tanks and various APCs, as well as Mi-24 attack helicopters were deployed to practice countering enemy assaults. The military also test-fired Iskander short-range ballistic missiles, designed for bunker-busting and destroying terrorist hideouts. The targets were spotted by Russia’s new Orlan-10 surveillance UAVs.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen ships practiced hitting airborne targets in the Caspian Sea. Videos from the scene show turrets rotating and firing at incoming enemy ‘rockets.’
Beijing contributed more than 1,600 troops along with tanks and strategic bombers. The exercise is aimed at improving the “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia, the Chinese contingent’s commanding officer, Lieutenant General Liu Xiaowu, said during the opening ceremony.
New Delhi sent hundreds of soldiers to the drill, which takes place amid the renewed tensions between India and Pakistan over disputed Kashmir.
All of the exercise’s objectives were completed and received “a positive reaction” from President Vladimir Putin, who visited troops in Russia’s Orenburg Region bordering Kazakhstan, the Kremlin spokesperson said.
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