Eastern bloc nations opened their Warsaw pact manoeuvres on Tuesday (9 September) with an impressive display of military hardware.
GV PAN Low Flying military jets flying over war game battle-field, in East Germany
SCU PAN Warsaw Pact military officials and East German leader Erich Honecker watching display
GV PAN Low-flying military helicopters, over battlefield
GV PAN Formation of tanks and armoured personnel carriers over landscape
GV PAN Military helicopter flying low over advancing tank
SCU President Honecker talking to military official
GV PAN Tanks and helicopters and heavily armoured vehicle (4 shots)
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Background: Eastern bloc nations opened their Warsaw pact manoeuvres on Tuesday (9 September) with an impressive display of military hardware. The opening displays were attended by Mr Erich Honecker, the East German leader, who saw the new Soviet MI-24 helicopter put to the test. Similar war games, however, were taking place under NATO supervision in Western Europe.
SYNOPSIS: The Warsaw pact exercises, code-named Brotherhood in Arms 80, began in the presence of high ranking observers from the alliance's member states. Among them was the host state's leader, Erich Honecker. Mr Honecker visited the manoeuvres with the Commander in Chief of the alliance's armed forces, Soviet Marshal Viktor Kulikov.
They saw the Soviet-made MI-24 combat helicopter being deployed. The MI-24 is a sophisticated machine, capable of flying at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour (186 miles an hour). They have the added capability of carrying 128 unguided rockets.
A mock tank attack in the south of the country brought the new Soviet helicopters into play. The advance of the tanks, however, was repulsed by the MI-24's.
The East German newspapers praised the MI-24, saying it had made enormous advances as a weapons system.
In his opening address at the manoeuvres, Mr Honeckor accused the West of raising the danger of war by increasing military budgets and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
The cost of the war games is in the millions. While the Warsaw pact countries deploy their troops on the East German plains, an equally expensive exercise is being carried out by NATO nations in Western Europe. Brotherhood in Arms 80 is the biggest exercise in East Germany in 10 years. It involves 40-thousand men taking part in air, land and sea manoeuvres. In western Europe, the NATO-sponsored Autumn Forge war games will involve more than a quarter of a million troops.