Russian Su-25 Preparing to Fight ISIS in Syria?

Russian pilots from the Southern Military District are polishing their skills in low flying clandestine maneuvers, Russian Defense Ministry’s Southern Military District’s press service said Wednesday.

Su-25 Frogfoot. Courtesy of RIAN.ru
Su-25 Frogfoot. Courtesy of RIAN.ru

“During the flight training at extremely low altitude [as low as 25 meters above the ground], the military pilots will complete tasks of clandestine maneuvers of the fighter jets to avoid anti-aircraft missile systems of a conditional enemy,” the press service said in a statement.

The recent maneuvers are most likely aimed at providing close air support to Russian soldiers in Syria. The recent deployment of Russian soldiers in Syria to help the struggling Syrian army battling the Islamic State will need a strong air support. Russian Su-25s are ideal for bombing fortified position while supporting the ground troops advance.

Two Su-25 frogfoot flying in formation
Two Su-25 frogfoot flying in formation

The low flying maneuvers will enable Russian pilots to avoid anti-aircraft missile systems and fly as low as 25 metres to evade the missile systems. Against the Islamic State, low altitude flying will make it more difficult for the militants to aim and shoot the Russian aircraft.

ISIS fighters may be in possession of man-portable rocket launchers that were stolen from Syrian military stockpiles as well as US MANPADS stolen from the Iraqi Army
ISIS fighters may be in possession of man-portable rocket launchers that were stolen from Syrian military stockpiles as well as US MANPADS stolen from the Iraqi Army

The Russian pilots will also practice emergency engine cutouts drills.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.