Russia, Nato fighters to hold first anti-terror drill

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The first ever joint exercise between Russia and Nato fighter aircraft will take place June 6-10, Russian National Anti-terrorism Committee spokesman Nikolai Sintsov said on Wednesday.

Named Vigilant Skies 2011, the exercise is a cooperative airspace initiative, “designed to prevent terrorist attacks which use civilian aircraft, such as the attacks on the World Trade Centre September. 11, 2001, by sharing information on movements in Nato airspace and Russian airspace, and by coordinating interceptions of renegade aircraft,” a press release on Nato’s webpage said.

The exercise will help improve air safety for passengers on international flights between Nato and Russian airspace and those living on the ground, Sintsov added. The new airspace security system provides a shared Nato-Russia radar picture of air traffic and allows early warning of suspicious air activities through commonly agreed procedures. The drill will be a major milestone in making the Nato-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative system operational.

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