Russia continues military buildup around Turkey as attack helicopters deployed in Armenia base
Report on Daily Sabah (Turkey), Dec 8, 2015 (with Reuters)
ISTANBUL–Following the downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber jet by Turkish F-16’s for breaching Turkey’s airspace on November 24, Russia’s latest step in its military buildup in Turkey’s neighboring regions came with the deployment of attack helicopters in an airbase in Armenia.
RIA news agency reported Tuesday that Russia has deployed attack and transport helicopters to reinforce its military base in Armenia, quoting the Russian Defense Ministry.
A total of seven helicopters, MI-24 and MI-8, have been deployed at the Erebuni Base near the Armenian capital city of Yerevan. One more batch will be delivered to the base before the year’s end, the ministry was quoted as saying. The base is located some 15 kilometers northeast of the Turkish border, near the suburbs of Yerevan. It was set up in 1995. Since 1998, Russia has stationed MIG-29 fighter jets there.
Russia also has a military base in Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia in the northwestern part of the country, also close to the Armenian-Turkish border. One of the two Russian bases in which land troops are stationed abroad, the base is approximately ten kilometers east of the Turkish border.
Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 troops and various armed vehicles are being stationed in the base with an agreement giving the units patrolling duties along the borders with Turkey and Iran.
Several incidents regarding undisciplined behavior of Russian soldiers over the years have raised controversy and anti-Russian sentiments among Armenian public opinion, especially in Gyumri.
Russia, which has been criticized by various countries for its recent military buildup in Syria backing the Assad regime and targeting almost exclusively moderate Syrian opposition, has used the jet incident on Nov 24 as a pretext [sic] to further increase its troops stationed in [Syria].
Russia has deployed S-400 missile batteries, whose range can cover almost one-third of Turkey’s territory. The next move was the deployment of missile cruiser Moskva near Turkish territorial waters, while submarines with cruise missiles have been deployed in Syrian waters.
Russia tests new stealth drones at Armenian military base
YEREVAN, Armenia– The Russian military base in Armenia has received new Orlan-10 reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and started testing Navodchik-2 drones invisible from the ground, a Southern Military District spokesman told TASS on Tuesday.
The drones are being tested at the high mountainous Kamkhud training range in Armenia by the servicemen who have undergone special retraining at the training facility in the Moscow Region, the spokesman said.
According to the spokesman, “reconnaissance units will use Orlan-10 UAVs for the first time to track extended and point targets in high mountainous areas”.
“The UAVs will be also involved in combat training of the military base’s units,” the spokesman added.
“The military base’s servicemen will also learn to deploy the Navodchik-2 reconnaissance system, prepare it for launching, use the catapult for aircraft takeoff and landing, the spokesman said.
The modern Navodchik-2 and Orlan-10 systems “will boost the volume of tasks accomplished in high mountainous areas in Armenia in the interests of reconnaissance and special units by five times,” the Southern Military District’s spokesman said.
The Russian military base is located in Armenia under an inter-governmental treaty signed between Moscow and Yerevan in 1995.