The joint anti-terror exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Peace Mission 2010 began on 13 September at the Matybulak range in the south-east of Kazakhstan.

The exercise involves 5,000 servicemen from five SCO member states with 300 military vehicles, and over 50 aircraft and helicopters from Kazakhstan, China and Russia.

Russia will provide 1,000 troops, 130 armoured vehicles that include tanks, self-propelled artillery systems and infantry fighting vehicles.

It will also provide over 100 trucks, and ten aircraft including Su-24 Fencer frontline bombers, Su-25 Frogfoot close-support aircraft and Mi-8 transport helicopters.

The drills aim to test the interoperability of the SCO armed forces in providing assistance to member state involved in internal armed conflict or terrorist attack.

The drills will last for 17 days, with the active phase starting on 24 September, according to RIA Novosti.