As reported by the Tass News Agency, during the ceremony, Alexander Galkin, the Russia’s Southern Military District commander, said the Frogfoots flew more than 1,600 sorties and dropped around 6,000 bombs since when Russian aircraft began missions against terrorists in Syria on Sep. 15, 2015.
“After a prolonged assignment away from home we are welcoming back our best pilots. They have coped with all of their tasks. Over the past six months they flew 1,600 sorties in adverse conditions spending more than 1,000 hours in the sky over Syria to have dropped about 6,000 bombs on the terrorists,” Galkin said.
Nevertheless also the RuAF attack jets used several kinds of PGMs. These weapons, which belong to the KAB-500 guided bomb series, include the KAB-500KR TV guided bomb, the KAB-500L laser guided bomb and the GLONASS-guided KAB-500S-E that like the American JDAM depends on a GPS guidance system.
These smart weapons can arm the Su-24, the Su-25, the Su-30 and the Su-34: all the fighter bomber types that took part in the Russian air campaign in Syria.
These photos provide lots of details about the operations of the Russian Air Force contingent in Syria.
The Russian MoD has recently made available some really cool photographs showing ordinary day life at Hmeymim airfield, near Latakia, the headquarters of the Russian Air Force contingent in Syria.
By taking a look at the images we can gather interesting details about the jets and helicopters deployed to the airbase in northwestern Syria: payload, mission markings, insignia (or lack of thereof) etc.
The Mi-8AMTSH reportedly carry the “Rychag-AV” active jamming station.
The 16 Su-30SM Flanker-H multirole aircraft carry both R-27R/ER semi-active radar-guided air-to-air missiles (AAMs) and R-73 short-range AAMs as well as OFAB-250-270 HE unguided bombs.
The Su-25SM, that started to fly with four B8M1 (S-8) rocket pods are now carrying also a B13L rocket pods to use with S-13 rockets from 5-tube launchers. The OFAB-250 iron bombs are also often carried by the Frogfoot attack planes (the 250 kg bombs are certainly Russia’s most used weapon by tactical planes in Syria) as the images prove. Interestingly, it seems that at least one of the 12 Su-25s (and a Su-34, not visible in the images in this post) deployed to Latakia still lacks the typical Red Star insignia.
Following the downing of the Su-24 Fencer on Nov. 24, Russian attack planes fly with air-to-air missiles for self-protection.
The Russian Air Force has decided to arm the Su-34 Fullback attack planes based at Latakia, in Syria, with air-to-air missiles to enhance the defensive capabilities of the aircraft conducting air strikes against terrorists across the country.
A video posted by the Russian MoD, shows the first Su-34 Fullbacks departing from Latakia on Nov. 30 carrying the R-27 (AA-10 Alamo) and R-73 (AA-11 Archer) missiles along with guided (KAB-500KR) and unguided (OFAB-500) bombs.
Besides the introduction of the air-to-air missiles, the Russian Air Force also announced the decision to enhance strike packages protection with a fighter escort: although there are images showing two Su-34s chased by a single Su-30SM multirole aircraft, the number of Flankers is (still) quite limited to provide such a HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) to all the Russian bombers carrying out raids across Syria.
At least there is a video now, published by RT, that provides some details about the Flanker operations in Syria.
The video, which includes some cockpit footage, shows the Su-30s taxiing, taking off and landing at al-Assad airport near Latakia. Interestingly, the aircraft operate in air-to-air configuration only, confirming the reports that the aircraft mainly fly CAPs (Combat Air Patrols), providing some support to the strike packages going after the ground targets disclosed by UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) reconnaissance missions.