Su-24 Russia

The most recent satellite images of the Russian-operated Hmeimim air base in Syria show Moscow has deployed more advanced fighter jets to the region, according to The Drive.

The satellite images, taken in mid-July, show 33 jets and a smaller number of fixed-wing aircraft.

There could, however, be more than 33, as some jets and aircraft could have been conducting sorties or flying elsewhere when the images were taken.

Moscow first sent fighter jets to Syria to help the Assad regime, which is a large purchaser of Russian arms, in 2015 — but that was mostly older attack aircraft, such as the Su-24 Fencer.

Here’s what Russia has in Syria now.

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1. Su-24

The satellite images from July showed 11 Su-24 Fencers, but that number might now be 10, since one Fencer crashed last week, killing both pilots. 

The Su-24 is one of Russia’s older aircraft and will eventually be replaced by the Su-34, but it can still carry air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, as well as laser-guided bombs. 

 

2. Su-25

The July satellite images showed three Su-25 Frogfoots.

The Frogfoot is another of Russia’s older attack aircraft. It’s designed to make low-flying attack runs and is comparable to the US’s legendary A-10 Warthog. 

Su-25s had flown more than 1,600 sorties and dropped more than 6,000 bombs by March 2016, just six months after their arrival in Syria.  

 

This photo, taken near the Hmeimim air base in 2015, shows an Su-25 carrying OFAB-250s, which are high-explosive fragmentation bombs.

Source: Sim Tack, chief military analyst at Force Analysis. 

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