This demonstrates further preparation of the Russian Armed Forces for the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including the open armed aggression.
An IL-22 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces is used to control the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The command of the armed forces of the aggressor country has initiated actions aimed at testing the combat capabilities of the airborne control center (IL-22 electronic intelligence aircraft) of the 8th Special Purpose Aviation Division based at the Chkalovsky military airfield. The aircraft is equipped with the R-392 ARAKHIS and R-187P1 AZART radio stations with FHSS system.
The UHF R-392ATSM ARAKHIS radio stations were additionally delivered to the security and control battalions of the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps in November 2020 for them to effectively exercise the measures. In December 2020 – January 2021, the commanders of the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps and curators from the RF Armed Forces held classes on the organization of communication using UHF R-392ATSM ARAKHIS radios.
From February 5, the following activities are observed daily as part of the inspection of the control and communication system of the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps using the IL-22 aircraft:
creation of at least five additional radio networks (based on R-187P1 AZART and R-392ATSM ARAKHIS radios);
IL-22 air alerting procedures in the airspace of Rostov region (Matveyev Kurgan – Shakhty area) (from 09:00 to 16:00);
radio exercises with the involvement of signal centers of fixed command posts of military formations and units of the army corps using the IL-22 aircraft.
The above communication will allow them:
to increase the VHF radio range from 30 to 300 km (at IL-22 flight altitude of 7000-7400 m);
to directly control the military formations and units of the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps with the use of VHF radio communication (in the FHSS mode) from the point of permanent deployment of the 8th Combined Arms Army (Novocherkask) of the Southern Military District;
to organize data exchange using complex transmission methods.
There are currently problems with communication between the signal centers of the fixed command posts of military formations and units of the army corps and the IL-22 aircraft. The problems are primarily caused by poor preparedness of servicemen of the signal units of the occupation corps.
Thus, the armed forces of the Russian Federation practice the combat control of military formations and units of the 1st and the 2nd Army Corps from the airborne control center (IL-22 electronic intelligence aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces) in the airspace of the Russian Federation. This indicates further preparation of the Russian Armed Forces for the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including the open armed aggression.