Russia sends most advanced jets to Syria after US F-22 deployment
Islam Times - Russia has reportedly sent two of its most advanced and sophisticated fighter jets to Syria, where its air force has been backing up the national army's ground operation against terrorist groups.
The reported deployment comes after the US employed earlier this month its most advanced fighter jet, the F-22 stealth fighter, in strikes against alleged terrorist targets in Syria.
Reports say two of Russia’s Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets had been recently spotted in the skies above Syria and then seem landing at the Hmeymim airbase in the country’s western Latakia province.
The Su-57s were escorted by Russian 4th generation Sui-30SM multi-role fighter jets before landing at the Syrian airbase, according to the reports.
The sophisticated military aircraft have stealth capabilities and are specifically designed for attacking roles. They also enjoy an avionics system that autonomously makes battlefield calculations to assist the pilot.
Russian authorities have yet to confirm the Su-57s’ deployment to Syria, but Vladimir Gutenov, chairman of the Military Industry Committee in the Russian parliament told Sputnik news agency that he "whole-heartedly welcomed" the reports.
The presence of the Su-57s will doubtlessly send a political message, serving as a deterrent "for aircraft from neighboring states which periodically fly into" Syrian airspace uninvited, according to Gutenov.
The Russian lawmaker added that the stealth SU-57 fighter jet planes “need to be tested in combat conditions, in conditions of [enemy] resistance.”
The Russian Defense Ministry had said the jets were slated to be introduced to its forces this year, and a total of 12 aircraft were initially ordered by the Moscow government.
Russia has been lending aerial support to Syria upon a request by Damascus since September 2015.
The deployment could potentially escalate Russia’s tensions with the United States, who have been involved since 2014 in an unauthorized aerial campaign against what they call Daesh positions in Syria.
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