These are the attack planes Russia is sending to Syria
Earlier this month, four Russian Su-30M attack planes popped up at the Bassel al Assad air base near the Syrian city of Latakia, intelligence firm STRATFOR reports.
The Su-30Ms, which were originally mistook for Su-27s, are an updated model of a tried and true air frames in the Su-27 family.
The jets are super-maneuverable, with twin jet engines and small canards, or fore wings, behind the cockpit. The thrust vectoring engines and these small canards give the Su-30M truly awesome agility in the air.
Russian pilots are fond of a move called the “Pugachev’s Cobra,” where they climb at an almost vertical angle before leveling out, making a serpentine curve through the sky as they do.
Your browser does not support the video tag. Минобороны России A Su-30M shows off its impressive climbing ability.
Hypothetically, the Su-30M’s maneuverability would give it an advantage over US models like the F-16 in a dogfight.
The situation is potentially worrisome as the US is currently carrying out air strikes from Turkey’s Incirlik air base, a little over a hundred miles away from Russia’s forces in Latakia, Syria. However, US aircraft have so far carried out strikes only against the Nusra Front and ISIS in Syria.
In addition to the Su-30s, STRATFOR has also identified the presence of a dozen smaller aircraft that are likely Su-25 Frogfoots.
These aircraft will be used for ground-attack operations and could provide cover to the Assad regime against ongoing rebel offenses near to Latakia. Operationally, Frogfoots play a similar role to that of the US A-10 Warthog.
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