Six Russian Su-34 Fullback bomber have just arrived in Syria. And this is the route they have likely flown to get there.

Sep 29 2015 - 9 Comments

The Russian military build up continues as six Su-34 Fullback attack planes arrive in Syria.

Six Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft have eventually arrived at Latakia to join the Russian contingent already there.

Images allegedly shot around the al-Assad International Airport clearly show one Russian Fullback about to land at the airbase in western Syria where 28 Russian aircraft have arrived last week.

One of the photos taken from the ground shows the six aircraft trailing what seems to be an airliner over Idlib: the larger plane is probably a Russian Air Force Tu-154.

Interestingly, a Russian Air Force Tu-154 using callsign RFF7085 could be tracked online on Flightradar24 during its flight to Latakia on Sept. 28, likely exposing the route followed by the six Su-34s trailing their accompanying Tu-154.

As the below image shows, the aircraft flew in international airspace over the Caspian Sea, to Iran and entered Syrian airspace after flying over northern Iraq: did the Su-34s have all the required diplomatic clearances to fly north of Baghdad or did they simply “sneak” into Syria by hiding under the cover of the transport plane?

Hard to say.

Last week, US officials said that the first 28 Russian combat planes hid under the radar signature on the larger transport aircraft, in an attempt to avoid detection but there are chances that the flights had all the required clearances from the Iraqi Air Traffic Control agencies and were conducted as a standard long-range ferry flight: one tanker/airlifter, using radio and transponder, supporting multiple fast jets.

Tu-154 FR24


H/T to @LuftwaffeAS and @obretix. Image credit:

  • milomonkey

    russia should cooperate with iran and have some kind of basing rights on iranian soil , it would cut short their supply run if it is possible

  • Jan Schmidt

    the Aviationist is the premier site to post real info, thank you to the Aviationist site maintainer and contributors!

    here is the latest info on su-34 and how they go to syria (found on oryx blog):

    six su-34 with a tu-154 (service personnel and parts?)

    su-34 have very long legs (two with center fuel tank – maybe air refuelled in russia?)

    the su-34 show that russia means business and will not relent until a stable solution is reached and ISIS is gone. ISIS is the new hitler… sorry USA/NATO but you just cannot win without the russians.

  • DLB

    sure glad Putin didn’t cross any RED LINES here.

  • bruceapilot

    And they violated the no-fly zone over Iraq with our permission?

    • Marco

      What are you talking about? Those NFZ were lifted at least a decade ago.

    • Deryl Robinson

      Our permission? who does usa & uk seek for permission as if they own the whole world.

  • MattBracken

    Hey Ivan: GET SOME!
    Na zdrovia, bro/brat!

  • Marco

    David, it would be greatly appreciated if you could find an analysis of the coalition air strikes so far. There is little coverage about that operation, we know it’s going on, but no one really knows the numbers and intensity to a point that several open sources give for granted that the airstrikes are actually over (misinformation example: I just heard a journalist saying that now that France started its strikes, US could follow… follow?… anyway).

    First there was the initial wave, then Jordan pounded harder for a while after loosing its F-16 and pilot, a US MQ-1 was shot down while flying recon on the wrong side of Syria, Turkey started its own “different” strikes, now France joined… but in the middle of these events no one knows what is going on. Any number? Average number of sorties? Any pattern? What are they actually striking? Number of dropped bombs so far? Thanks in advance

  • eric02138

    Ok, I’ll buy that. But how did the Su-25s get there? Can you jam enough ferry tanks on them to make that trip?