grad.si copyRussia’s Defense Ministry has launched massive artillery drills in the Southern Military District involving some 8,500 troops and a large amount of hardware. It coincides with war games conducted by the country’s Airborne Troops. Artillery units are to be deployed in 10 ranges as part of the training, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. They will demonstrate their tactical, technical and special skills and will carry out more than 50 field maneuvers. “The event involves some 8,500 artillery troops and a large number of rocket artillery systems, military and special hardware, including Grad-M, Uragan and Smersh multiple rocket launchers, Msta-S 152-mm caliber self-propelled howitzers, Nona artillery systems and Rapira 100-mm caliber anti-tank guns,” the statement said. About half of the shooting practice exercises will be carried out at nighttime. The drills are focused on inter-service cooperation between artillery units and motorized, armor, airborne and amphibious troops, the ministry said. MORE