19:21 Nov. 30, 2016
Test launches of new Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles over Black Sea led to confrontation with Russia
Today, on Nov. 30, the Ukrainian Air Forces announced the continuation of preparations for tomorrow's "test flights of anti-aircraft missiles of average range, which will take place in the south of Ukraine". The crews of combat and transport aircrafts, air defence units and radio troops, signal corps and unmanned aircrafts will be engaged in the drills.
"As part of the tests, in order to gain combat experience using anti-aircraft missile systems and to check the quality of remanufactured products, military subservient units of anti-aircraft missile troops will work on practical combat (emulated) tasks with launching of anti-aircraft missiles at air targets – drones of VR-3 Reis type," Air Forces' statement reads.
Andriy Klymenko, the chief editor of BlackSeaNews (Ukrainian media writing on maritime issues) clarifies, that tomorrow or the day after Ukrainian Air Force will launch missiles near the western coast of the Russia-occupied Crimea. "As a target an old Soviet Tu-143 drone of VR-3 Reis complex will be launched, and it will be shot down by the new guided anti-aircraft missiles... Characteristics of the drone: wingspan – 2.24 m, length – 8.06 m, weight – 1230 kg. Cruising speed – 950 km/h. Practical operating range – 180 km. Practical ceiling – 1000 m," journalist wrote on Facebook and published the map of the launch area.
Air Force assure that future tests are made strictly by the international law and aviation procedures: "In order to warn providers of aviation services, airlines and aircraft crews of different countries about the dangers of using the airspace during these launches in the designated area, Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine according to defined procedures prepared and published aviation notice (NOtice To AirMen, NOTAM) in advance. Aerial shooting will take place entirely in the airspace of Ukraine, on the open sea, and will be made strictly with international law".
As reported, Russian occupiers of Ukrainian Crimea claim the peninsula and territorial waters around it now belong to them, so they shout about 'provocation' and can even conduct a missile strike, the sources say. In turn, Ukraine announced it is not going to cancel drills near Crimea following Russian threats.