Russian air base in Armenia ready to open fire at NATO planes - 2007

Russian air base in Armenia ready to open fire at NATO planes

Channel One TV, Moscow May 4, 2004

Presenter: Back in Soviet times airborne troops stationed in Transcaucasia served as a reliable defence of the country's southern borders. In the mid-1990s Russia's airspace in the area was left without any defence. Armenia alone met Russia halfway and allowed for the Russian Airborne Troops to remain on its territory. Correspondent: Aleksey Artemyev Fighters at the Russian air base Erebuni have six minutes and not a second more to take off for a duty flight and intercept a target that has illegally entered Armenia's airspace. The end of the runway and the border with the neighbouring country are separated by a distance of 15 km. The neighbouring country is Turkey, a NATO member state, with a great number of air bases stationed on its territory, including those belonging to the USA.

Two years ago Russian pilots cut short an attempt by a high-speed spy plane to enter Armenia's airspace from Turkey. One should always be on alert here. All interceptors on combat duty here are equipped with four air-to-air missiles. The two bigger ones are located closer to the fuselage and are capable of hitting a target within a distance of up to 80 km. The two smaller ones are intended for close combat, they are capable of hitting any target within 30 km. The equipment is completely ready for combat.

NATO intelligence is monitoring the Russian air base in Armenia round the clock. Two sites for direct tracking are situated on a slope of Mt Ararat. The Turkish Air Force are trying to have every Russian pilot under control.

Valeriy Ded, captioned as fighter pilot: We do not normally meet them in the air. At times we spot them on our radar screens, both on board and on the ground. They know every pilot of ours, our voices, if not our names.

Correspondent: The Erebuni air base is part of the Russian air defence complex situated in Armenia, the only one remaining in Transcaucasia, protecting Russia's southern borders. The main air defence forces are
located high up in the mountains, not far from Gyumri, formerly Leninakan. There are four launch pads for air defence missile systems Kub and S-300 there.

We were the only TV crew that was given a chance to film a Russian air defence command post on alert duty. Unidentified officer This facility allows us to see the sites where the air defence batteries are stationed as well as the sectors they are facing. We can give them the whereabouts of a target to hit.

Correspondent: This radar station is able to operate within a radius of 300 km. The nearest NATO airfields in Turkey are situated at a distance of about 200 km. In other words, the Russian command post is able to spot any plane takeoff from any of the airfields.

Aleksey Gorskiy, captioned as commander of the combat command and control division: In May 2001 we began our test alert duty. We did not have a right to open fire at trespassers. The Turks used to fly along the border all the time. After the alert duty started in earnest in October ?2001 , in other words when we were allowed to open fire, they hardly ever appear here now.

Correspondent: All the Russian air defence divisions stationed in Armenia are working in close coordination with each other. In everyday life pilots and anti-aircraft gunners are rivals. The air base is proud of its unique barracks, containing fish water tanks, mantelpieces and even a small zoo of their own. Meanwhile, the air defence system command division claims that they have the best cook and cuisine.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will therefore be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself... or else, I will not post your comments, especially if they are, in my opinion, nonsense. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.