Russian bombers strike simulated targets during Black Sea drills

MOSCOW, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Tu-95 strategic bombers hit simulated naval targets during military drills in the Black Sea, Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"A wing of Tu-95 strategic bombers struck a simulated enemy's naval force in the Black Sea during the exercises of Russian Black Sea Fleet," the ministry's press service said.

The bombers were accompanied by Su-27 and Su-24 fighter jets, A-50 early warning aircraft, supported by three missile warships and Bastion coastal missile system and artillery units.

"In line with the drill plan, the A-50 detected and tracked airborne targets and surface fleet, informed the command posts of the air and surface conditions, guided fighters and attack aircraft," the ministry said.

The Black Sea Fleet started the drills on July 4, with more than 20 warships and auxiliary ships, over 20 aircraft and helicopter gunships, as well as Marine Corps and coastal missile units involved.

Russia has been increasing its military activities, especially snap drills, in recent months.

Moscow needs to pay attention to the developments along the borders of member countries of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, which makes it necessary to "work out various scenarios and check them during the snap drills," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

President Vladimir Putin said last month that Russia is going to carry on more snap drills in order to keep the armed forces on constant alert, enhance combat readiness and maintain reliability of national defense.