Russian Bombers Tu 160, Tu 95 Combat debut in Syria
|Tu 160 Black Jack Closely escorted by two Su 27 Flankers|
The Russian air force unleashed the Syrian air space by flying long range strategic bombers and long range cruise missiles from Bombers and Submarines. This is the third segment of Russian cruise missile strike since the tactical Russian air force deployed in Syria. This time it's a huge number of cruise missiles varying from Kh 555, Kaliber and Kh 101. Many of those cruise missiles and Bombers credited with combat debut.
The Russian Defense ministry confirmed there were total of five Tu 160 Black Jack Strategic Bombers, six Tu 95 MS Bears and another fourteen Tu 22 M3 Bombers closely escorted by eight Su 34 Fullback and four Su 30 SM Flankers. All the fighter jets comes directly from Russian mainland by flying more than 6,500 kilometers. Bomber like Tu 160 and Tu 95 MS bear saw their first operational combat since their deployment in Russian fleet. Even the Tu 95 MS deployed in 1965 saw his first combat debut after fifty years.
This time not only bombers, Submarine from unknown location in Mediterranean sea also fired salvo of four long range Kaliber class cruise missile, Kaliber is a variant of Klub class cruise missile with increased range of some 1500 km, which is primarily used by the Russian Navy. The Missile can fly at the speed of Supersonic in mid course. The Kaliber Missile can be guided by nearby ground forces or UAV in terminal phase for high precision.
The Kaliber used for third time in a row, at first Russian Navy's Caspian flotilla fired salvo of Cruise missiles over Rebel controlled position in Syrian Aleppo Homs and Idlib provenance, In second time Russian fleet in Mediterranean sea fired the Kaliber cruise missiles over rebel controlled positions. The third time they fired the same missile from an submarine hits targets in Aleppo and Idlib suburbs.
The Syrian battleground is a perfect place for Russians to test fire their newest missiles, The recent Strike involves a very low observable cruise missile dubbed by Kh 101 which is a variant of Kh 55 missile, The Kh 101 is very long range low visible missile, Primarily used for nuclear strike from the Black Jack Bombers. Sources close to Russian intelligence expects the new Kh 101 has range of upto some 3000 kilo meters while Kh 102 is Nuclear armed cruise missile. Both are intended to replace the older Kh 55 from Russian Bombers fleet.
The Kh 101 can fly at the height of upto 45,000 feet at the speed of some 0.7 mach, During the terminal phase the missile can descend 90 to 200 feet before striking the target. The Kh 101 can carry 450 kilograms of conventional warhead, while the Kh 102 can carry 250 kilo tons of Nuclear warhead. The missile use the Russian GLONASS navigation with terrain matching for guidance. In the Terminal phase missile can use the IR seeker for target lock. It's clearly looking that Russia evaluating his combat readiness along with the new missiles.
The Syrian Air space is well protected and safe for Russian air operation. The Cruise missiles are effective in contested air space only. Russia can strike anywhere in Syria with his fighter jets with guided and dumb bombs ranging from 250 kg to 1000 kg, That can make damage to enemies more than the air launched cruise missiles. Most reports along with Russian defense ministry reports confirmed that targets are pointed at Aleppo and Homs, where a three side fight is ongoing between ISIS vs SAA vs FSA.
|Tu 95 MS seen with 8x Kh 101 cruise missile|
On the other side Russia used the Tu 22 M3 for carpet bombing. The Tu 22 M3 dropped metal storm over unknown location in Syria. This could be more effective way of bombing, The dumb bombs carried by Tu 23 M varies from some 250 Kg to 2 Tons. Which means the fleet of 14 Tu 22 may drop more than 100 tons of ammunition's over the Syrian land in one day.
The Strategic Russian Bomber fleets are actually a cruise missile carriers, which can carry long range cruise missiles from Stand off Ranges, Primarily designed to strike US Navy Aircraft's, US Airbases and American mainland outside from the US Air defense umbrella. The Russians almost tested all kind of Strategic cruise missiles in Syria. However Russian Defense ministry confirms that they were informed the Coalition Air groups before conducting the strike.
Photos appeared in Social media confirmed the wreckage's of missiles inside Syria, There is a confirmed report of one or two cruise missiles malfunctioned and crashed in Syria. One of the crashed cruise missile identified as Kh 555 possibly launched from Russian Tu 95 bears. The pop up engine is recovered from Syrian deserts confirms it.
The Russian Ministry also confirmed that The temporary deployment of additional eight Su 34 and four Su 30 SM in Russian Tactical air operation base in Syria. The Russians said the punishment to the ISIS is because of the Russian airliner downed in Sinai weeks ago.
|Kh 555 Cruise Missile|
|Tu 22 M3 seen with FAB dumb Bombs|