25 Russian long-range strategic bombers in action over Syria for the very first time

Russian Air Force heavy bombers made their first appearance over Syria yesterday night.

It looks like Moscow stepped up its military effort in Syria even before the intention to intensify the air strikes was announced by Putin on Nov. 17.

As initially reported by Reuters, a US official has confirmed that Moscow has conducted a significant number of strikes in Syria using both sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers.

The Russian MoD said 25 long-range bombers took part in the raid: 5 x Tu-160s, 6 x Tu-95MS and 14 x Tu-22M3.

According to one our sources who wishes to remain anonymous, the long-range bombers the Russian Air Force has used against ground targets in Syria early in the morning on Nov. 17 were Tu-22M Backfire strategic bombers.

The aircraft were allegedly launched from Mozdok airbase, in Ossetia, where as many as 6 Tu-22s were spotted on a recent deployment.

Remains of a KH-555 missile wreck were found in Syria: considered that this type of air-launched missile is mainly carried by Tu-95 Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack bombers (Tu-22s have been tested with the KH-555 but full integration is not completed or at least unknown), the long-range bombers that launched the attack on ground targets using those missiles may have been the Tu-95s or Tu-160s flying alongside the Backfires.

We will provide more details as soon as they become available.

Image credit: Dmitriy Pichugin

 

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About David Cenciotti 3633 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.