On May 28, defense observer Obretix posted on a Twitter a new satellite image showing three Russian Tu-22M3 bombers in Hmeimim Air Base on the Syrian coast.
The bombers were deployed in the Russian base on May 25. From there, they performed a number of flights over the Mediterranean Sea as a part of a military exercise. The bombers were escorted by Su-35 fighter jets.
At least two Kh-22/32 long-range missiles, which can be used against ships, ground targets and radar systems, can be seen in the satellite image placed near the bombers. The Tu-22M3s were spotted carrying the missiles during one of their exercise flights over the Mediterranean Sea.
Obretix image also shows a Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft and two Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifters.
RuAF Tu-22M3 bombers including two Kh-22/Kh-32 anti-ship missiles at Hmeymim airbase in Latakia yesterday https://t.co/gmnUMC1r3i (WorldView-1 satellite image via Ken Joyce/@Maxar) pic.twitter.com/oXW1mMsrWi
— Samir (@obretix) May 28, 2021
The deployment of the Tu-22M3 bombers in Syria reflected Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the bombers will return to their homes base in Russia once the exercise is over.
A recent expansion of Hmeimim Air Base runway made the deployment of heavy bombers like the Tu-22M3 possible. The base can now receive all types of aircraft in service with the Russian military.
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