Russian alliance to hold combat drills

Oct. 20, 2008 at 4:52 PM

MOSCOW, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Russian military officials say an alliance of former Soviet states will combine combat aircraft for joint defense exercises.

"The exercise will involve over 50 fighters, bombers and helicopters. A particular feature of the exercise is the deployment of Russia's A-50 Mainstay AWACS aircraft," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said Monday.

Thursday's exercises are to be a joint effort by members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance comprising Russia, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Armenia, RIA Novosti reported.

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