New satellite imagery shows that Russia’s air combat power in Syria has exploded over the last 48 hours, with 12 Su-25 Frogtfoots adding to the four Su-30SM Flankers and about a dozen or so combat helicopters already stationed at Latakia Air Base in Syria. A dozen Russian Su-24 Fencers are also said to be on the ground there now as well.
This brings Russia’s air combat element in the war torn country up to around 40 or so aircraft. This is a very formidable force with capabilities ranging from troop transport, deep strike, reconnaissance, counter-air and especially close air support capabilities, of which the Su-25 is very roughly equivalent to Russia’s version of an A-10 Warthog. In addition to the fighter, attack, and vertical lift aviation assets, the Russians also are said to be launching Predator sized drones out of the base.
Su-24s supposedly spotted into tow of an Il-76 tanker-transport yesterday
In addition, Latakia Air Base, the growing Russian outpost where all this air power is housed, is said to be guarded by Panstir-S1 point air defense surface-to-air missile and cannon systems. Ground forces have also increased to about 500 soldiers, backed by dozens of armored personnel carriers, nine T-90 main battle tanks and assorted artillery.
Russian Su-24M attack aircraft of which a dozen are supposedly in Syria now
Simply put, Russia’s force is Syria is no joke and is capable of a wide range of combat operations.
And it’s still growing.
Contact the author Tyler@jalopnik.com
Photo Credits: Su-25 top shot- AP, Su-24 via Russavia/Wikicommons