Russia holds war games involving numerous missile launches

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2015 10:28 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military has conducted a series of ballistic and cruise missile launches from sites across the country in the latest demonstration of the nation's resurgent military might.

The Defense Ministry said Friday the exercise has involved launches from sites on the ground, at sea and in the air in what appeared to be one of the largest such maneuvers this year.

The war games come as foreign ministers from Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and a dozen of other countries are meeting in Vienna to discuss a possible settlement for the war in Syria.

The exercises involved the launch of a Kalibr cruise missile from a Russian ship in the Caspian Sea. Earlier this month, Russian navy ships in the southern Caspian launched 26 such missiles at targets in Syria as part of Moscow's air campaign, which began Sept. 30.

As part of the maneuvers, the Russian navy also launched intercontinental ballistic missiles from two nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, while a ground-based Topol intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from the Plesetsk pad in northwestern Russia.

The drills also included Tu-160s strategic bombers launching cruise missiles at practice targets at the Pemboi shooting range in the northern Komi region and the Kura shooting range on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. An Iskander cruise missile was launched at a practice target on the Kapustin Yar shooting range in southern Russia.

The ministry said the drills were intended to test transmitting combat orders from the top military leadership all the way down.