According to the Turkish authorities, the Su-24 violated Ankara’s airspace (for 17 seconds) and did not respond to 10 warnings in 5 minutes, radioed by a TuAF GCI (Ground Controlled Intercept) station while the aircraft, along with another one of the same type approached the border. Russian authorities deny this report and claim no warning was issued by the Turkish and no violation occurred at all.
Following the incident, the TuAF said that the warnings, on a dedicated mutually agreed radio channel and the international Guard (emergency) channel (243.0/121.5 MHz), were not answered by the Russian plane that continued to fly towards the Turkish airspace, leading the Turkish Air Force to believe the intruding aircraft was not Russian but Syrian.
One of the Su-24 pilots was killed by fire from the ground after successfully ejecting from the plane in flames whereas the second pilot was rescued in a 12-hour-long operation
Actually, according to the Turkish media outlet, the decision was mutual and aimed at preventing the repetition of the incident along the border: on one side, TuAF jets will no longer take part in the air war on Islamic State, on the other one, the Russians will halt their raids near the Syria-Turkey border.
After the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24, Moscow has decided to deploy some air defense systems to western Syria.
Following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force on Nov. 24, that caused the death of one pilot (the other one was rescued and brought back to Latakia on the following day) Moscow has decided to put in place some new measures to protect its air group operating in northwestern Syria.
First of all, all the Russian attack planes will be escorted by Su-30SM Flankers during their missions against ground targets in Syria (previously, they operated without air cover).
Second, Moscow has decided to deploy at least one S-400 SAM battery to Latakia, to protect its planes from aerial threats in a range of 250 miles. As explained in a previous post about this air defense system, the S-400 (SA-21 “Growler” according to the NATO designation) is believed to be able to engage all types of aerial targets including VLO (Very-Low Observable) aircraft within the range of about 400 km at an altitude of nearly 19 miles.
Third, Russia has already moved the Moskva guided-missile cruiser off the coast of Latakia. Equipped with early warning systems and outfitted with 8 S-300F Fort anti-air systems with a range of 90 km and ceiling at 25,000 mt. Actually, the cruiser has been operating in the eastern Mediterranean to provide cover to the Russian air forces in Syria since Sept. 30.
The following infographic, prepared by @Naval_Graphics, details most of the weapon and sensor systems aboard the Slava-class cruiser.
Needless to say, with all the air defense systems amassing in the area, the 18 Turkish Air Force F-16s currently on CAP (Combat Air Patrol) station at the Syrian border, while the Russian jets conduct airstrikes in the Turkmen mountains (more or less in the same area where Su-24 pilots ejected yesterday), have something more to be worried about.
During the mission, the aircraft were identified and escorted off UK by RAF Eurofighter Typhoons; however, the British interceptors in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were not the only aircraft they met during their long mission: over the Mediterranean Sea they were intercepted and escorted by at least three Su-30SM Flankers launched from Latakia.
And here’s a really interesting footage showing the rendez-vous between the bombers and their escorts and the subsequent launch of cruise missiles (that seem to be KH-555s).
As you can see the Backfire dropped FAB-250 iron bombs from very high altitude: whatever they hit, they were probably not too worried about CEP (Circular Error Probability) nor did they have contraints because of potential collateral damage.
During the first wave, 5 x Tu-160 Blackjack, 6 x Tu-95MS Bear and 14 x Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers flew round trip missions from airbases in Russia: Backfires flew 4,510km in 5h 20mins, Blackjacks and Bears over 6,500km in 8h 20mins and 9h 30mins.
The following video was filmed at short distance from the targets of the carpet bombing: some 19 bombs can be seen falling from the sky before hitting somewhere not too far from the cameraman.
Actually, there is someone who believes these could be ALCMs (Air Launched Cruise Missiles) since they look quite slender: although this can’t be ruled out, the way they fall close one another seem to suggest these are not cruise missiles but dumb bombs whose shape appears a bit distorted because of the poor quality of the footage.