Russian Navy Testing Missile Defense System in Caspian

By on Thursday, February 7th, 2013

The coastal missile unit of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla is conducting a series of exercises to practice using the Navy’s only Bal coastal missile system, a representative of the Southern Military District said Wednesday.

Participants are learning how to detect and track air- and sea-based targets, organize communications and process and transmit data that would affect decisions about using the system, the representative said. The exercises are taking place at the Adanak test site in Russia’s republic of Dagestan.

Combat crews are practicing elements of deployment, electronic launches against imitation targets and quick changes of position after launch, according to the representative.

The crews have already practiced neutralizing enemy airstrikes and surveillance teams, as well as conducting reconnaissance of possible routes – in terms of engineering, radiation, chemical and biological factors – and putting out fires, the representative said. It was not immediately clear how long the exercises had been going on.

The Bal mobile coastal missile system with Kh-35 type antiship missiles can engage targets at up to 120 kilometers under any weather conditions, according to VPK.name, a respected Russian military news website. Armstrade.org, another Russian arms-related website, reports that the system entered service in the Caspian Flotilla at the end of 2011.

The system is designed to control territorial waters, protect naval bases and other coastal installations.

It can carry out both single and salvo launches with up to 32 missiles.

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