Russia Deployed Four New Su-34 Fighter Bombers To Hmeimim Air Base

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Russia Deployed Four New Su-34 Fighter Bombers To Hmeimim Air Base

Su-34 Fighter Bomber

According to media reports, the Russian military reinforced its air force group at the Hmeimim Air Base near the city of Jableh with four additional Su-34 fighter bombers.

The warplanes were escorted by Tu-154 aircraft, a method used by the Russian Aerospace Forces for transporting warplanes to Syria. The Tu-154 is used as a guide for other fighters throughout the way, and may be used to hide the bombers from the American radars in the Persian Gulf and Iraq.

The Russian fighter jets deployed in Hmeimim continued carrying out multiple airstrikes on terrorist positions throughout Syria.

Russia Deployed Four New Su-34 Fighter Bombers To Hmeimim Air Base

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Russia Deployed Four New Su-34 Fighter Bombers To Hmeimim Air Base

Click to see the full-size image

On April 23, the Russian Aerospace Forces paid a special attention to the militant-held town of Lataminah and provided a close-air-support to the Syrian Arab Army in the Hama offensive.

Russian jets carried out a number of raids pounding ISIS positions in Deir Ezzorr and in the vicinity of Palmyra.

The deployment of the four additional bombers brings the number of Su-34 bombers in Syria up to 12/

The Russian air force group deployed in Hmeimim reportedly includes 12 Su-24M2 bombers, four Su-30SM fighters, four Su-35 fighters and four close air support Su-25sm fighter jets along with a range of service aircrafts.

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  • Barba_Papa

    It’s still not much though if consider the vast amounts of headchopper targets that are in dire need of a one way ticket to Allah. 26 strike aircraft, 8 air superiority fighters, of which half can also be used to drop ordnance. The RuAF could easily deploy twice that number and it would still not be able to hit everything it needs to.

    This is why I laugh at all these hysterics who accuse the Russians of simply using terror bombings on civilians. For one the RuAF does not have the numbers to waste aircraft on such missions when there are so many tactical and strategic missions to carry out as well. Secondly their aircraft are often seen only taking off with only 2 or 4 bombs, when they could easily carry 2 or 3 times that much. Which is what you wouild need if you wanted to carry out indiscriminate carpet bombings. If however you’re going to strike Jihadi positions and depots a single bomb is all you really need. Anything more is just wasteful overkill. The equivalent of having such poor targeting systems that you have to throw as many bombs as possible in the hope that one lands near the target.

    But it would seem that military history and expertise are in short supply with journalists. Which is why every vehicle that has tracks also gets labeled a tank.

    • MeMadMax

      They work them hard there thou.
      I heard pilot rotation is around 1-2 months now.

      • Jesus

        If they fly 2-4 sorties a day, the pilots would get good combat experience. Rotate the pilots every couple of months so more pilots would have combat training.
        I wish they had the smaller MIG 35 available for ground attack operations.

        • Mikey Harry Harris

          I bet that is being drawn up as we speak. They should also bring in some Yak-130 light attack too.

        • MeMadMax

          I think they should be running the TU-95 on round-the-clock carpet bombing missions…. I also think that the syrian air force should buy up a couple hundred of the super tucano aircraft(or simular). These planes are great for close air support, very rugged, cheaper than the su-25, easy to train pilots for, and can carry a variety of weapons, but most importantly, they have a gun for strafing. During WW2, P-51’s strafing german forces while operating independently contributed greatly to that war.

          • Daniel Castro

            Problem is my friend, Brazil which produces the Super Tucano, won’t be allowed to export it to Syria as it uses northamerican engine, we couldn’t even sell it to Venezuela… The same happens to Gripen NG, we will assemble the planes here, but won’t be allowed to sell them to Argentina because english won’t allow us.

          • MeMadMax

            Yea, I know. Thats why I threw in the “similar” keyword, typo not forthcoming lol.

          • dutchnational

            The point of licensing is exactly what I have tried for several times to explain to turks claiming and bragging of their own wonderfull weapon industries.

            They are dependent on import of crucial parts, licences, so they cannot export unless given approval by US, UK, Israel or whomever has the patents and supplies the parts.

            This goes for most quasi industrial countries.

          • Jesus

            I have no problem if a formation of 6 or 12 Tu-95 would carpet bomb targets daily, just eradicate the terrorists instead of shipping them to Idlib, after all the infrastructure is useless, since it is damaged. Civilians should be given some opportunity to escape the onslaught.
            The super Tucanos are 10-15 million apiece, I don’t know if the Syrians could afford them; they would be good to pick small groups of terrorists and finish them off.
            They would work well in conjunction with helicopter gunships.

          • MeMadMax

            You can get the tucanos for cheaper than that, in the sub $9 mil range.

            But, thats just an example, and not the point.

            The point is getting lots of cheap, inexpensive warplanes to do lots of cheap, inexpensive, combat missions, like strafing runs for example. The terrorists are spread out and in small groups, which makes it somewhat difficult to arrange combat missions for with a regular, modern day jet air force. The problem is costs, maintenance, training etc. Modern jets are not designed to fight insurgent style combat.
            Vietnam, Afghan, Iraq are perfect examples, and Vietnam was the last time that someone recognized this problem and said “hey, lets dig up some propeller aircraft to fight”, and thats when they brought in the Skyraiders, Invaders and others.
            Hell, our own government conducted studies that encouraged cheap propeller aircraft to fight terrorists:
            http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA476254

          • Daniel Castro

            Our Tucanos are great light attack fighters and we’re proud of them, we should just make our own engines so we no longer need permition to sell them to whoever needs them to fight terrorists, because they were made for this, as at that time there was a risk FARC narcoguerrila would infest our amazon forest.

          • Daniel Castro

            Imagine, Brazil has an aircraft carrier which is rigt now getting rusty with damaged engines, if we didn’t had such a worthless government we could propose a real international colalision to fight terrorism in Middle East and Africa and be a part of it with our own battle group. We could help to make the world a better place, increase our status on international community, and increase our national moral at the same time… Thinking about the things we could do if we hadn’t been in such state of comatose slumber make me depressed…

        • Daniel Castro

          Not on the subject, but I think russia needs to develop a single engine fighter aircraft, when Brazil was applying to buy fighters for our airforce russians tried to sell us PAK-FA, and of course that was not what we needed, since the airforce was asking specifically for single engine low cost of operation fighters the russians had no options to offer…

          Then Muricans also tried to sell us f-18, which of course has 2 engines and they lost the contract too. In the end we got Gripen-NG, but it’s not good as it uses murican made jet engines and what we really wanted is techonlogy transfer.

          I don’t know why the fixation with air-superiority fighters, most countries just need cheaper multi-role aircraft to defend their territory, if war breaks numbers are more important than anything else. MIG-35 is still very expensive and is more than what most countries need, what they need is pretty much MIG-21 with modern avionics and ECM.

          • Tudor Miron

            Single engine fighter plane has one major problem – if there’s a problem with one engine than this plane is lost. There’s plenty of examples of two engined war planes returning to base with one engine running. Not the case with single engine plane. When people say that single engine planes are always cheaper than two engines – F-35 anyone? All I’m saying is that saying that 1 or 2 engines absolutely determine planes price.

          • Daniel Castro

            It doesn’t determines plane prices, but do determines cost of operation, and that is the issue for our airforce, Brazil is too big and we have a vast frontier to patrol we limited budget, the gripen ng we acquired is not cheaper than russian aircraft, but as it is single engine his cost of operation is much smaller.

          • MeMadMax

            The mentality that you are describing is a problem spawned by our military-industrial complex.

            Sure, having the latest and greatest technology is great and all, but they take common sense and throw it out the window…

            So what you end up having is these companies constantly “reinventing the wheel” for a marginally smaller and smaller better product(our automotive industry and even phone companies like apple are doing it)…

            Instead of improving older products(including aircraft), they just reinvent new ones, at full price… The government is 100% complacent in this waste…

          • Jesus

            Russian needs and Brazilian needs are different, Russians build aircrafts they need to maintain air defense/superiority in case they have to fight a conventional war. A twin engine aircraft has its advantages when it comes to power and survivability, a multi role aircraft performing the role fighter, fighter bomber, recon are few, Mig 21 cannot do that, I still think Mig 35 is a good choice, and the Russians would be willing to do a technology transfer.

            If you seek generation 3 and early generation 4 fighters, F-5 or F20, or even F-4 would be cheap, however, I am not sure how effective a technology transfer would be. Early model F-16 from European air forces would be a choice as well, however, technology transfer would be problematic as well.

            Brazil had/has Mirage 3, I take it Brazil does not want to procure more of those; if you want modern technological transfer, you have to buy a couple dozen of gen 4+ aircraft, become familiar with the technology and use that technology to build an aircraft of local origin and design as you did with Xavante.

          • Daniel Castro

            Well, I know Russia had planes for single engine designs based both on MIG and Sukhoi industries, they might not need average fighters, but Russia probably could make good money selling them. Brazil is already building gripen-ng, what we need is jet engne technology.

          • Jesus

            Indonesia that has a vast archipelago chose to buy a dozen Suk-35, the aircraft has a long ferry range 3000kms that is useful to countries that have long and deep borders. They feel confident the aircraft will do well against the Australian F35.
            The Grippen is listed at 40-60 million, Suk 35 would be competitive at that price and be a much heavier aircraft, and have greater air to air capabilities.

          • Ted

            Seek China’s help. In the end Brazil bought a great fighter in the SAAB. Costly yes but for a country that does not find itself in a lot of fights, numbers may not be all to consider.

          • Daniel Castro

            The problem for the airforce is the cost of operation, these airplanes are supposed to fly for decades, 2 engines means basically twice the maintenance and more fuel consumption. I know two engines are more secure to the pilot, but it seems our airforce is not worried about that, I have a friend which is a airplane mechanic in the airforce and he himself wouldn’t fly the planes he gives maintenance… Do you think the situation is bad?! Yeah…

    • Tudor Miron

      Not to argue with your post but to correct some details: “8 air superiority fighters, of which half can also be used to drop ordnance.” – Both Su-30 and Su35 can be effectively used against ground targets including guided weapons (older Su-27 fighters radar was only capable to target air targets. Su-27 was still able to attack ground targets but could only use free falling bombs and unguided rockets).

      • Barba_Papa

        I know that the Su-35 was used to drop ordnance at the height of the Jihadist Hama offensive. But that seems to have been mostly dumb bombs and unguided rocket pods, if the article here on SF was to be believed.

        I’m sure that the F-22 and F-15 air superiority variants can be used to drop bombs as well. But generally those kinds of fighters are just not that good at it as dedicated strike aircraft. If only because their crews have been specifically trained for that role.

        • Tudor Miron

          F15C (air superiority variant) has no capability to use guided weapons (but it can do free falling bombs similar to Su-27). For this purpose US created F15E. Russian don’t use many guided air to ground weapons in Syria – not more than needed to test/develop new systems in real combat. Main reason – those are very expensive and there’s huge amounts of fab-250, fab-500 bombs remaining from CCCP days. Do not listen to western propoganda about them using precision guided air to ground weapons to avoid colateral damage – just look at the facts :) From pilots point of view the main difference between guided and unguided weapons is that latter requires getting within reach of air defence systems and it requires more skill from the pilot. In case of Syria conflict there’s very little resistance against air threats so there’s not much sense in using expensive new systems.

    • John Whitehot

      The number of deployed aircraft is not any more or less than what is needed to perform the mission. You are considering things under the historical perspective of anglo-american air campaigns of the latest years, a meter that does not apply to the russian grouping in syria.

      NATO and US spam hundreds of aircraft and systematically level out entire countries. The VKS operations in Syria already have turned the war around with very limited numbers – everybody can remember that in september 2015 nobody would had given Assad the slightest chance to survive the war in his place.

      What has surprised NATO and Israeli technical experts though is the high turnaround efficiency of the Russian grouping – the operational tempo of both aircraft and pilots has been deemed exceptionally high and not achievable by western air forces, by their same admission.

      • Dave Gray

        great post and good info!!! all the BS you hear about antiquated russian equipment and lack of tactical skills is just BS, just from reading different media over time it stood out to me that the Russians seemed to be at the top of the game when it came to targetting etc , and as for tactics which country pumps out most of the finest chess players.

        • John Whitehot

          I don’t rly know about chess players, I’m a very bad player myself but when it comes to air campaigns one has to separate the usual propaganda bullshit from notable operational data. In western general media, you normally have a ratio of like 95% in favor of propaganda. In not-classified western technical documents, that ratio descends but it’s still too high.

          There is an apparent reason for this – in western countries you have a certain percentage of people who are “military enthusiast” and have a higher than average knowledge on the subjects (at least apparently).

          In many western countries, especially the US and UK, there is a tendency to feed this segment of the public a form of somehow technically-enriched propaganda – the reason is simple: general population tend to listen to these guys and make up their opinions on those subjects based on what those guys tell them. I’d call it an indirect form of propaganda.

          Keep in mind, that you are not going to find anything really meaningful about technology or doctrine over those publications, most of them actually publishing large quantities of numbers which in most cases are inaccurate or totally useless (an example could be the observability of the F-22 Raptor expressed in “Radar cross section”: whatever they published is 99% fake, and moreover it fails to describe how it does change at different wavelengths, how does it vary in function of the angle and so on)

          • Dave Gray

            A good example was when Russia initially deployed their aircraft for operations in Syria, I can remember articles in the western press mocking the deployments stating their aircraft were so unreliable they would be lucky to get a couple of sorties per day per aircraft due to the unreliability of Russian hardware .I thought at the time surely their gear isnt that bad , as it turns out it isnt.

        • Bob

          Russian military aircraft still have doctrinal lessons from German invasion of 1941 deep in their DNA. At time Soviet’s quickly learnt that their aircraft needed to have ability to handle quickly changing, rolling and ad hoc airfields to retreat back into safety of often distant and underdeveloped areas of a vast country.
          These lessons remain concrete in current generation Su’s and Mig’s. They have incredibly robust landing gear for poor and rough surfaces.The group of vents on upper front of main wings, next to fuselage, are extra engine intakes. As undercarriage lowers, the main under body air intakes automatically close, and engines breath through these upper surface intakes – designed to allow landing on dirty and arbitrary airfields without debris entering the main intakes. Likewise if the aircraft is hundreds of kilometers from any servicing plant it needs maximum flight hours in engines before major overhauls required. These are doctrinal lessons that Soviets set into their air-frames and that Russia still values today.

      • Barba_Papa

        Yes, the Russians manage a high turnover rate. Much higher then was originally suspected based on experiences with Russian gear and after the long neglect of the Russian armed forces after the fall of the USSR. On the plus side the Russians do have the advantage of having a base relatively close to the frontlines in Syria, as opposed to the RAF which has to operate from outside Syria. When your aircraft are longer in transit to and from the target area it does tend to take a larger toll on both aircraft and pilots.

        The point remains though that the RuAF grouping, efficient though it might be, is not enough to cover all the needs of the Syrian army and its auxiliaries. Despite having no air support whatsoever, the IDF and the odd ‘mistakes’ by the USAF aside, and despite being bombed by the RuAF and SAF, the Jihadis are still capable of massing large forces and mount large offensives. This indicates that RuAF and SAF air power is just not sufficient to and provide CAS and battlefield interdiction and strike strategic targets as needed. Which is why the SAA remains vulnerable to sudden offensives like Hama and Daraa, which hinder its offensive operations at East Aleppo and Palmyra. And why Deir Ezzor remains vulnerable.

        More SU-25 CAS aircraft are probably desperately needed and the RuAf could probably field a 2nd airbase in central Syria to better cover the Palmyra and Southern Syria sectors. But I suspect that Russia can simply not sustain such an effort long term. Which is probably why the airgroup is at its current size as it is.

  • Thegr8rambino

    Nice keep em coming