January 12, 2016 - 10:29 AMT
Moscow tests Crimea-based radar station which can monitor Istanbul

As tension grows between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian jet on the Syrian border in November, Russia's Caspian Sea Fleet has started testing the Podsolnuh radar station, which can monitor Istanbul, Today's Zaman reports.

According to a report in the Cumhuriyet daily on Monday, January 11, Russian officials have said that test runs at the radar station, set up on the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, have been successful. The officials said in a statement that “the tests aimed to exercise communications between operations centers of warships and air and surface targets.”

When the radar station was established in Crimea, an official from the Russian Defense Ministry said that it would monitor the area including the Bosporus Strait.

Russia has been increasing its military presence in the region ever since Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in late November.

Modern Tachyon drones were deployed to the Russian military base of the Southern Military District (SMD) in Armenia.

Tachyon unmanned aerial vehicles are used for military intelligence operations both in the daytime and at night, covering up to 40 kilometers in a variety of adverse conditions in the wind at a speed of 15 meters per second.

Russia has reinforced its military base in Armenia with six modern attack Mi-24P and transport Mi-8MT helicopters on December 21.

In early December, seven of Russia’s advanced Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and Mi-8MT Hip transport helicopters had been deployed to the Erebuni base.