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The Russian Army plans to take part in nine international drills in 2021, eight of which will be held in Russia, the Defence Ministry said in a recent statement. Russia is expected to host six bilateral training operations, including:
  • Russian-Algerian drills
  • the Indra-2021 Russian-Indian exercise
  • the Friendship-2021 Russian-Pakistani exercise
  • Russian-Vietnamese tank exercises
  • the LaRos-2021 Russian-Laotian drills
  • Russia-Sri Lankan anti-terrorism exercise.

“In addition, the Peace Mission 2020 joint anti-terrorist drills involving Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (ShOS) nations and the Unbreakable Brotherhood 2021 exercise involving the peacekeeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB) are also expected to take place in Russia,” the statement claims.

The Ministry added that Russian troops would also participate in the Selenga 2021 Russian-Mongolian exercise hosted by Mongolia.

“All exercises will be aimed at boosting peacekeeping and counterterrorism efforts,” the MoD emphasised.

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) will conduct over 200 exercises of various levels in 2021, having conducted over 200 command-and-staff and tactical exercises in 2020.

Russian Navy Plans

The Russian Navy also made a statement on some of its activities being quoted by the national media. By the end of 2021, the ADMIRAL GORSHKOV frigate, part of the Northern Fleet (Project 22350) is to perform a maiden salvo launch of the TSYRCON (ZIRCON) hypersonic missiles as part of state trials. A source in the Russian industry clarified that the missiles will be launched at intervals of several seconds in an environment of powerful electronic countermeasures.
The salvo fire, “is designed to ensure not only missile testing, but also to test the capabilities of the ship’s weapons control complex, in particular, when it performs tasks with a massive missile strike simultaneously against sea and ground targets,” the source said.
According to him, ZIRCON is equipped with a homing system, unique in its characteristics of jamming immunity, and its capabilities must be confirmed during tests.
ZIRCON is the world’s first hypersonic cruise missile capable of long-term aerodynamic flight with manoeuvring in dense layers of the atmosphere, using its own engine thrust throughout the route. The missile reaches speeds of about Mach Nine, with a maximum firing range of up to 1000 km. It is claimed that ZIRCON has an equal effectiveness against both sea surface and ground targets.
Yury Laskin