February 16th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– By Joaquin Flores –
Four upgraded close air support fighter planes, the Su-25SM3 fighter jets, the latest upgrade of the Su-25 ground attack aircraft, are to be sent to the Russian airbase in Syria later this year in the summer, as reported by the Russian Izvestia newspaper.
The Hmeymim airbase received ten Su-25SM and two of the training variants – Su-25UB in the September of 2015. On January 12th, four Su-25 attack jets were again transferred to the Russian airbase in Lattakia to carry out strikes against ISIS terrorists in Al-Bab.
Izvestia recalls that the Hmeymim military airbase is located south of the Syrian city of Lattakia, and is Russia’s center of strategic operations against the Islamic State and other terrorist organisations. The airbase is reported to be scheduled for significant expansion and upgrades throughout the year.
According to Izvestia, the Su-25SM3s – an extensively modified version of the Su-25 ground attack jet, are to be sent to the Hmeymim military airbase in western Syria. The exact date of the transfer is not confirmed, but is expected to happen between August and September this year.
The upgraded Su-25 is equipped with an advanced tactical electronic warfare suite – Vitebsk-25.
Russia’s upgrading of Su-25 to SM3 version can reportedly extend the aircraft’s operative life for at least another ten years. The country’s air force is expected to receive its first modernized variants by August, when four aircraft will be sent for duty in Syria.