Four Russian Flanker derivative have arrived at Latakia airport.
Satellite images prove Russian combat planes have eventually deployed to Syria.
The deployment, anticipated by an air bridge from Russia that involved several An-124 Condor airlifter flights (that we were able to track thanks to their Mode-S transponders) saw the aircraft arrive at al-Assad International Airport, near Latakia, the main Syrian port city, on Sept. 18.
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) 19 Settembre 2015
As the satellite imagery shows, the aircraft were parked next to the threshold of runway 17L, on the northern side of the airport: this is quite interesting as the airbase has no hardened shelters and the aircraft are in the open air, exposing them to satellites and spyplanes, and making them a possible target to attacks from outside the airfield.
The arrival of the Russian Air Force
Navy Su-30s and the official confirmation by the Pentagon, brought speculations that Russians may already be operating in Syria to an end: according to the U.S. defense officials, so far, four Su-30s, two Mi-24 gunship helicopters and two Mi-17 Hip utility choppers have deployed to Latakia.
The Su-30SM is a multirole derivative of the Su-27 Flanker. It’s a special variant of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI and MKM produced by the Irkut Corporation for the Russian Air Force (that is slated to operate 60 jets of this type by 2016).
It’s a 4+ Generation twin-engine, two seat supermaneuverable multi-role aircraft equipped with improved avionics, the Bars-R radar and a wide-angle HUD (Head Up Display).
Image credit: Wiki (Top), AllSource Analysis @AllSourceA