The Russian military has deployed the airborne early warning and control (AEW) aircraft to Syria.
According to local sources, the AEW aircraft arrived the Hmeimim airbase in the town of Jableh few days after the US missile strike on the Al-Sha’irat airbase.
The aircraft was identified as an upgraded version of the A-50U equipped with the Vega Shmel-M radar, capable of detect the launch of a missile or a fighter jet in the range of 650km. The detection range for ground targets is 300km.
The A-50U can conduct command and control air operations, guide friendly fighters and track multiple enemy fighters at the same time. The aircraft can remain in the air for more than 9 hours, and has the ability to detect ground targets and ships.
Last week, Sergey Rudskoy, Head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Department, announced that Russia had deployed a multi-level control system in Syria that control the entire Syrian airspace from the Hmeimim airbase.
The deployment of the A-50U in Syria is believed to be aimed at improving the ability to detect hostile aircraft and missiles expanding the air defense capabilities of Russian forces.
According to reports, the previous deployment of such a plane in Syria took place in 2015.