Job done! Russia’s most advanced spyplane is returning home after deployment in Syria

The Tu-214R is currently returning to Russia after a 14-day deployment to Syria.

The Russian Air Force Tu-214R ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft that was deployed to Syria on Feb. 15 is seemingly returning home.

The aircraft could be tracked online on Flightradar24 thanks to the signals of its ADS-B transponder as it flew from Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, over the southern Syrian airspace, then into Iraq: the aircraft is likely following the eastern corridor that overflies Iran and the Caspian Sea, and it is possibly returning to Kazan, where KAPO (Kazan Aircraft Production Association), the Russian company that builds the plane.

So, the aircraft has eventually completed its first tour of duty in Syria using its wide array of radar systems and electro optical sensors to map the position of the enemy forces or intercept the signals emitted by the enemy systems (radars, aircraft, radios, combat vehicles, mobile phones etc).

Most probably, among the weapons systems of interest there were also F-22 Raptors performing “kinetic situational awareness” tasks over Syria: the Tu-214R alongside the Il-20 Coot and other ground-based radars might have collected intelligence data needed to “characterize” the F-22’s signature at specific wavelengths.

Actually, there is someone who suggests the aircraft was withdrawn due to complications concerning its logistical maintenance requirements that forward away from Russia…

Image credit: Flightradar24.com

 

About David Cenciotti 4416 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.

5 Comments

  1. Yup, that Tu-214R ‘must’ have found all sorts of things in Syria or above it – except Daesh idiots that cut off the major supply line for ‘regime’ (read: 40,000 Iranian and Iraqi Shi’a) troops in southern Aleppo area…

  2. The Su24M3 contingent at Khmeimim was increased by another 4.
    The ceasefire holds for now, despite the turkish continued shelling of kurdish positions, and some provocations by “moderate” terrorists. Also ksa isn’t happy about it, and incites violations.

    • You just can’t say “kurds” … that’s like saying “syrians” … there’s factional and partisan divisions within the kurdish population. .. and not all kurdish groups are the same … just like not all syrian groups are the same

  3. Last was reported by radio listeners and deployment observers is that the plane couldn’t be maintained outside of Russia & continued operations over Syria would see the plane & crew lost in a PR nightmare. An unacceptable risk for the PR based Russian regime

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