The Russian military tested new concepts during the recently held, large-scale "Kavkaz-2020" military exercises held from September 21-26. The massive exercises held in Russia’s Southern Military District included approximately 79,500 Russian servicemen and featured an estimated 280 tanks, 450 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 200 artillery systems and multiple launch rocket systems. The exercise area including six combined-arms and two aviation ranges.

"New ways of all-arms actions of troops in the complicated situation of the modern armed conflict were worked out during the manoeuvres," Russian Defence Minister, General Sergei Shoigu, said while summing up the results of Kavkaz-2020, in a Ministry of Defence (MoD) release.  

"Joint actions of a separate airborne assault brigade and an army aviation brigade significantly increased the dynamics and pressure of destroying the enemy," Shoigu stated, while adding that an experiment, involving the combat use of a new type of formations in the mobile echelon was also successfully achieved.  

“Special attention was paid to the use of high-precision weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems, automation of command and control processes, as well as the integration of intelligence and information control systems,” said Shoigu, while adding that new Russian reconnaissance-strike and reconnaissance-fire complexes, automated control systems had performed well.

Russian long-range S-300V4, S-400 Triumph and Buk-M3 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) systems, took part in the exercises, where they engaged the latest Russian high-speed aerial targets which are designed to mimic tactical missiles and enemy aircraft.

During combat exercises, Russian airborne troops dropped 10 combat vehicles from a military transport aircraft in one go, for the first time, while a two km long "fire wall" created by Russian engineering units was used to disrupt the approach of enemy reserves in another mock exercise. This exercise also featured the first appearance of the new TOS-2 heavy flamethrower system.

According to Russia’s MoD, inspection teams from Germany and Denmark, as well as joint missions from Germany, Romania and France, who worked under the Open Skies Treaty were present during the active phase of the exercise. Kavkaz-2020 featured participation from military formations from Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar and Pakistan, in addition to Iranian warships which joined the Russian Navy on exercises in the Caspian sea.