Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers, which were recently deployed in Syria, have performed training flights over the Mediterranean Sea, the Ministry of Defense of Russia announced on May 26.
Three Tu-22M3 bombers landed in Russia’s Hmeimim Air Base on the Syrian coast on May 25. The deployment came following the expansion of the base’s runway. Now, all types of planes operational in the Russian military can perform flights from the base.
“The crews of Tu-22M3 long-range bombers that arrived at the Russian Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian Arab Republic the other day have begun to accomplish the tasks of mastering the airspace in the Mediterranean maritime area. The Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have conducted training flights over the Mediterranean Sea,” the Russian MoD said in a statement.
The Zvezda TV released footage of the bombers’ flight. In the footage, the bombers can be seen armed with Kh-22/32 long-range missiles.
The massive missile, which is capable of carrying a 350–1,000 kiloton thermonuclear, has a range of up to 600 km. Several variants of the missile were developed for use against ships, ground targets and radar systems.
Russia is reportedly developing a new small-sized hypersonic missile, dubbed “Ostrota,” for the Tu-22M3 and other types of bombers.
The deployment of Tu-22M3 bombers in Syria was an achievement for the Russian military and a sign of Moscow’s commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the Middle East. According to the Russian MoD, the bombers will return to their home base in Russia once their training flights are completed.
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