Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM ‘Flanker-H’ combat aircraft have been deployed to the Khmeimim Airbase in Syria, Jane’s reported on Thursday. This is the first overseas mission for the fighter.
Several such aircraft were photographed in the Russian airbase in April and May this year. While the Su-30SM has a multirole capability, Jane’s reports that the aircraft photographed in Syria appeared to be configured for air-supremacy operations, sporting a mix of Vympel NPO R-77 medium-range, active radar homing air-to-air and Vympel R-73 short-range air-to-air missiles.
The aircraft deployed to Syria are likely to be from the 43rd Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment at Saki airbase in Crimea. The regiment is assigned to the Sevastopol-based Black Sea Fleet, which is responsible for Russian naval operations in the Mediterranean, the report said.