Russian Federation tests new Su-57 stealth fighter over war-weary Syrian skies

Lester Mason
February 23, 2018

Russian Federation is strengthening its Space Forces grouping in Syria, Syrian activists report in social networks, confirming their words with photographs of the newest Su-57 fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which are said to have arrived at the Khmeimim airbase.

The single-seat, twin-engine planes were allegedly filmed nearby Russia's Khmeimim Air Base near the southeastern city of Latakia along the Mediterranean coastline, empty state-of-the-art stealth technology to avoid radar detection.

While the Russian military has yet to confirm or deny the claims of the SU-57 being sent to Syria, Russia has used the conflict in Syria to tout the potential of a range of weaponry such as cruise missiles, attack helicopters and warplanes to highlight the modernisation of its armed forces since the fall of the Soviet Union.

On Thursday, unverified video footage posted on social media by Syrian political activists showed a pair of new Su-57s being escorted by more conventional Su-35 fighter jets and four Su-25 strike aircraft.

RBK quoted a source in the Defense Ministry as saying that new strategies, especially the introduction of modern fighter models to Russian forces in Syria, "are a direct response to United States actions who are becoming more upbeat".

The aim of the military buildup is not limited to its experience, but reflects a decisive Kremlin move to declare a clear practical position on supporting military operations initiated by the Syrian army all across Syria. They were developed to challenge the U.S. F-22 Raptor - and have been called the "F-22 killer".

However, any deployment to Syria would also raise eyebrows as the SU-57 is still in development and only a handful of prototypes are known to exist.

Another explanation to the Russians' decision to transfer the advanced plane to the Middle East might be their concern, even panic, over the US Air Force bombing of a Russian convoy two weeks ago, which killed hundreds of mercenaries acting on behalf of the Russian defense ministry.

A deployment to combat operations could be used to impress the IAF and also other prospective buyers like the UAE, which, last year, expressed interest in jointly developing weaponry with Russian Federation.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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