At Russia’s Hmeimim Airbase in Syria, the reconstruction of the runway was completed.
Following the refurbishing, the air base in Syria is capable of receiving all types of Russian military aircraft, including heavy models, the Ministry of Defense said.
The second runway became longer, and the surface was completely replaced and new lighting and radio equipment was installed.
“It is the first time that aircraft of this type are based at the Khmeimim airfield. Crews of long-range bombers will acquire practical skills in practicing training tasks in new geographical areas during flights in the airspace over the Mediterranean Sea,” the statement said.
The department added that the reconstruction of the second runway has been completed at the airbase with a complete replacement of the coating and the installation of new light-signal and radio equipment. In addition, due to the increase in the length of the runway, the aerodrome’s capabilities for receiving and servicing aircraft of various classes were expanded.
To date, aircraft of all types, which are in service with the Aerospace Forces and the Naval Aviation of the Russian Navy, can fly from the renewed airfield.
Recently, three modernized long-range Tu-22M3 bombers landed there for the first time. They arrived to carry out training tasks. As the Russian Defense Ministry explained, after completing training tasks for the development of airspace in the Mediterranean sea zone, the bombers would return to the sites of their deployment in Russia.
Tu-22M3 is a long-range supersonic bomber with a variable sweep wing. It is designed to destroy sea and ground targets with supersonic guided missiles, and also has the ability to bomb enemy targets.
Currently, work is underway in Russia to modernize the Tu-22M3 with the renewal of the arsenal of weapons and the inclusion of hypersonic means of destruction of ground targets.
Additionally, Russia is expanding its navy base at the Syrian port of Tartus and planning to construct a floating dock to boost the port’s ship repair facilities, according to Russian military officials.
The move came weeks after the Russian military began work on extending one of the runways at its Hmeimim airbase, adding to its military foothold in the eastern Mediterranean. The floating dock is scheduled to be completed in 2021, says Russia’s TASS news agency, quoting military officials.
Upgrading the repair facilities at the Tartus base will allow the Russian navy to avoid dispatching ships to naval installations in the Black Sea for maintenance, according to Western military officials. The Russian naval facility in Tartus is leased from the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and four years ago the Russian military classified it as a Material-Technical Support Point and not formally as a base.
Tartus and the Hmeimim air base, in the nearby province of Latakia, have been the main hubs for Russia’s operation in assistance of the Syrian Arab Army.
Between April 23rd and May 12th, the SAA, together with Russian support, had significant success in containing ISIS activity in central Syria.
“Units of Syria’s pro-government troops, with the support of the Aerospace Forces of Russia, continue their search and reconnaissance missions in the Syrian desert. Since April 23, a total of 228 members of terrorist groups have been killed and 44 captured, 20 vehicles have been seized and six destroyed, 38 facilities and 45 hideouts have been demolished,” a Russian military spokesperson said.
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