Russia launches surprise war games in the Baltics alongside NATO drills

Moscow has deployed several assets to the Baltics to conduct exercise alongside NATO Saber Strike.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force deployed three B-52 strategic bombers to RAF Fairford, in the UK, to attend Saber Strike and Baltops exercises in the Baltics.

The Stratofortresses were then joined by two B-2 Spirit bombers involved in a quite unusual overseas deployment.

Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise which focuses on the three Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014 is an annual multinational maritime exercise held in the Baltics with assets from 13 participating nations.

This means there’s a lot of assets operating in the Baltics these days. That’s the reason why Moscow decided to conduct surprise training of first strike forces, marines, paratroopes and bombers, deploying several aircraft to the Kaliningrad region, close to the NATO war games.

The following video shows some of these assets, including Su-34 Fullback attack planes and A-50 AWACS aircraft (one of those was intercepted by NATO Baltic Air Policing QRA on Jun. 11) as well as SA-9-N Tor, the navalized variant of the all-weather low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system used to counter planes, choppers, PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions), UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and short-range ballistic missiles.

 H/T to Steppen Wolf for sending the link over to us.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.