Russia has deployed two of its most advanced and sophisticated stealth jets in Syria, in a power move likely to draw US criticism, as the Pentagon expressed its alarm earlier this month over recent close calls with Russian planes in the war-torn country.
Satellite images published by Israeli company ImageSat International on Friday showed the fifth-generation jets — two Su-57 fighter aircraft — at Russia’s airbase in the coastal Syrian city of Latakia. A source in the defense ministry confirmed to RBK news agency this week that the two planes were sent to the Hmeimim base “for a test in real conditions.” The jets are said to be a potential rival to the US’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, which American forces use in patrols over Syria.
The deployment came with a covert warning to Israel by a Russian official, who said that 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.”
Speaking to the Russian news network Sputnik, Vladimir Gutenov, chairman of the Military Industry Committee in the Russian parliament, said on Friday that the jets “need to be tested in combat conditions, in conditions of [enemy] resistance.”
And a photo for the RuAF A-50U #41 Red landing at the AB after a combat mission. pic.twitter.com/FIV8xcpeuJ
— Wael Al Hussaini (@WaelAlHussaini) February 23, 2018
(Read more from “Growing Risk of Israeli-Russian Military Conflict as General Threatens Jewish State While Deploying Advanced Stealth Fighters” HERE)