MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti)
Servicemen from an air assault brigade deployed in the Southern military district have held live-firing drills using new 120-mm semi-automatic mortars, the district’s spokesman, Col. Igor Gorbul, said.
The firing drills were held in preparation for the Kavkaz-2012 strategic military exercises, which will take place in southern Russia in September.
Gorbul said mortar crews carried out over 30 firing missions at ranges between 800 and 8,000 meters.
NONA-M1 120-mm towed rifled breech-loaded mortars feature high accuracy and rate of fire with high-explosive projectiles. They are crewed by five men and can be dropped from transport aircraft on parachute-equipped platforms.
It can use any existing 120-mm rifle shells or projectiles and hit targets at a range of 200-12,000 meters.
The brigade received NONA-M1 mortars at the end of 2011.
The Russian government has allocated 20 trillion rubles ($641 billion) on the comprehensive rearmament of Russia's Armed Forces which will see the share of modern weaponry reach 30% by 2015, and total 70% by 2020.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.