Recently, Russian Su-24M, Su-30SM and Su-30SM2 bombers carried out precision bombing strikes on simulated targets during a military exercise in far western Russia in the Kaliningrad region.
And the “TASS” agency reported, quoting the press office of the Baltic Fleet, that the region, which is located on the borders of Lithuania and Poland, members of NATO, hosted the military exercises aimed at providing air support to the ground forces.
The report highlighted that during the military exercises, more than a dozen crews of bombers and multi-role fighter aircraft from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation carried out bombing runs at a training ground.
The training aims to enhance coordination and efficiency among crews participating in successful bombing missions in support of ground operations.
According to a statement from the press office, the pilots of the Su-24M, Su-30SM and Su-30SM2 bombers participating in the exercise honed their skills in delivering strikes using air-launched weapons against ground targets during the day and at night.
The Navy pilots participating in the exercise conducted flights to a designated area where they conducted precision bombing strikes using P50-T heat-resistant aerial bombs and 30mm artillery shells.
The targets are simulated enemy airfields, personnel, and equipment. During the exercise, the pilots completed more than 20 sorties, using precision air-launched weapons, the report said.
The Navy pilots carried out bombing runs at altitudes from 500 meters to 1000 meters, targeting a specific field at a training ground in the Kaliningrad region, as determined by the press office.
The report stated that “the pilots’ practical operations were recorded by data loggers with their devices installed on combat aircraft and the ground in the area of achieving combat training objectives.”
This comprehensive monitoring allowed an accurate assessment of the pilot’s performance while executing the combat training objectives.
Escalating tensions in the Baltic Sea region
The regular exercises that Russia and NATO allies conduct in the Baltics underscore the significant strategic value attributed to this region.
The Baltic Sea has long been a point of contention in tensions between Russia and Western countries.
The presence of important Russian naval bases in St. Petersburg, home to the Baltic Fleet, and a strategic enclave in Kaliningrad play a central role in projecting the Kremlin’s regional power, and at times its global influence.
These locations enable Russia to maintain a significant military presence in the Baltic region, allowing for rapid response capabilities and the ability to project power beyond its immediate borders.
However, after Finland recently joined NATO, seven NATO member states now have coastlines along the Baltic Sea.
This development has consequential implications for Russian warships seeking access to the Atlantic Ocean, as they must navigate the waters along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.
Moscow has expressed concerns about the increasing presence of NATO forces near its borders.
In response, Russia conducted more frequent military exercises to demonstrate its readiness to counter any possible attack from enemy forces.
In March, the Russian military conducted exercises involving the S-400 Triumf air defense system in cooperation with the Baltic Fleet. The primary objective of these exercises was to test response strategies in the event of a hypothetical violation of airspace by enemy aircraft.
Su-27 fighters from a naval aviation unit simulated intruders, while air defense crews demonstrated their ability to neutralize simulated enemy targets. The exercises concluded with Triumph teams participating effectively with targets using electronic means, highlighting the impressive capabilities of the air defense system.
For its part, in September 2022, NATO allies Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland participated in the third Ramstein Alloy 2022 exercise in the Baltic Sea region.
Notably, this iteration of the exercise marks the first time that the Allies have integrated ground- and air-to-air integrated missile and air defense activities into the exercise.
The exercises aim to enhance cooperation and interoperability between the participating countries in air and missile defense.
However, Finland’s accession to NATO raises concerns about potential threats to St. Petersburg and Murmansk, home to the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet bases.