In 2017, Ukraine’s Armed Forces will participate in dozens of live fire trainings with missile launchers – both domestic and international ones. Dmytro Hutsulyak, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, said this at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday.
’We are planning to hold 25 drills employing the units armed with multiple missile launchers Buk M-1; besides, our troops will join the Sabre Guardian 2017 exercise in Bulgaria, where flak-missile units will train their skills with S-300 missile launchers. Another domestic drill will be held at Yagorlyk firing range in Kherson region,’ he said.
Buk M-1 is a self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system, developed by the Soviet Union and, later, Russia. It is designed to counter cruise missiles, smart bombs, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The weapon can aim six targets at once, with all of the targets flying at different altitudes and taking different azimuth positions. The weapon, initially constructed in the USSR, is now in active service by both Ukrainian and Russian armed forces.
Previously, in December 2016, the Ukrainian Air Force held drills in Kherson region, not far from the administrative border with the Russian-occupied Crimea. Before the actual exercise took place, the Kremlin threatened to shoot down the Ukrainian missiles. The Ukrainian side insisted that the drills took place exclusively in Ukraine’s airspace and over this country’s territorial waters.