Su-25SM prepares for the fight

Tomislav Mesarić examines the capabilities of the Su-25SM3, which represents the most advanced Frogfoot in Russian service.

IN EARLY JANUARY 2017 a poor quality photograph of an Ilyushin Il-76 transport leading four Su-25s appeared on social media, accompanied by speculation that they were on their way to Hmeymim air base in Syria. A few days later, Russian Ministry of Defence spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov confirmed the rumour, emphasising that the aircraft were part of a planned rotation in the war zone, not reinforcements. Indeed, a similar number of Su-24M bombers subsequently withdrew from Hmeymim.

The small number of aircraft involved suggests that the deployment might be a combat evaluation of a new system, in which case the jets could represent the latest Su-25SM3 standard – of which five examples were apparently delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in 2016. Other sources claim the Su-25SM3 will deploy to theatre no earlier than August or September. Whatever the case, the Su-25SM3 will be used in Moscow’s campaign in Syria.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below