Russian and US Pilots Practiced Air Proximity in Syria

Rubric: Russia, Politics

Russian and American military held a joint air incident prevention drill in Syrian sky. In particular, they simulated a situation of air proximity between warplanes of the two countries.

The drill started on Tuesday, November 3, at 11.00 (Moscow time), said Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, the Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff. Crews of airplanes and ground services took part in the drill.


"During the drill the parties practiced issues of warning, interaction and data exchange between headquarters of operational groups and control posts of Russian Airspace Force at the Hmeymim airbase and the US Strategic Air Operations Center in Qatar, as well as information sharing on dangerous military activities in the Syrian airspace", said Andrei Kartapolov, being quoted by the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service.

According to him, aircrews of the Russian Airspace Force and the international coalition practiced air approach in a specially appointed zone at the minimal safe clearance of three nautical miles, established radio communication on the predetermined frequency and exchanged their flight parameter messages in Russian and English languages.

Upon returning of the airplanes to airdromes, a joint post-flight analysis through direct communication line was arranged between control posts of the Russian Airspace Force at the Hmeymim airbase and the USAF in Qatar.

Russia began the air operation in Syria on September 30, 2015. Russian aircraft deliver air strikes upon the militants’ facilities on a daily basis. Generally, the US took the Russian campaign negatively, however, throughout October, the parties have managed to reach agreements on air incident prevention in Syria, and defense ministries of both countries signed a corresponding memorandum.

The memorandum implies setting of the full-time operational channels between Russian and American military authorities and interaction procedures, including mutual assistance in crisis situations.