Russia’s Northern Fleet Russian Naval Infantry, often referred to as Russian Marines, has conducted anti-aircraft drills in the Pechenga District of Murmansk in the Arctic region. The live-fire exercise was carried out by the air defence units at a military training ground near Lake Santayarvi. During the exercise, the marines used portable Igla and Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile systems based on lightly armoured tracked transporters to destroy aerial targets.
The air defence batteries covered the marine units in the positional area, on the march and on the offensive. Combat crews of anti-aircraft gunners performed firing on the move at suddenly appearing targets, imitating the helicopters of a mock enemy. The exercise also included engaging mock sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy, as well as overcoming conditionally contaminated areas of the terrain. Around 100 personnel were involved in the drill.
The 9K38 Igla (Needle, NATO reporting name SA-18 Grouse) is a Russian/Soviet man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. The newest variant, which is a substantially improved variant with longer range, more sensitive seeker, improved resistance to latest countermeasures, and a heavier warhead. The 9K35 Strela-10 (Arrow, NATO eporting name SA-13 Gopher) is a highly mobile, short-range surface-to-air missile system. The system is primarily intended to engage low-altitude threats, such as helicopters.
The Russian Naval Infantry (Morskaya pekhota Rossii, MPR), often referred to as Russian Marines in the West, operate as the naval infantry of the Russian Navy. Established in 1705, they are capable of conducting amphibious operations as well as operating as more traditional light infantry. The Russian Naval Infantry has 50 T-72B, 150 T-72B3, 30 T-72B3 mod. 2016, 50 T-80BV and 50 T-80BVM as of 2021. The APCs used by the Naval Infantry are either wheeled BTR-80s (in Assault Landing Battalions) or tracked MT-LBs (in Marine Battalions).