Two Russian Su-30s at Fairford in 1997. That year saw probably the greatest airshow ever at Fairford. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Russia’s top fighters to Crimea

Russia on Wednesday 26 November deployed ten Sukhoi Su-27SM and four Su-30 Flanker aircraft to Belbek airbase on the Crimea peninsula, Russsian media outlets report. The move adds significant firepower to Russian forces already present in the Crimea, after the Ukrainian area’s take over by Russia earlier this year.

PRESS PLAY: GoPro Russian Air Force Sukhoi familiarization flight!

Russian news agency Tass reports that the aircraft involved flew to Belbek from Krasnodar, in southern Russia. By 1 December, the Russian air force unit at Belbek is projected to have 24 combat capable fighter aircraft and six training combat aircraft.  Training flights will begin the same day. Earlier in November, Russia moved MiG-31 interceptors close to the Ukrainian border.

Up to March this year, the Crimea was Ukrainian territory,  with close to forty Ukrainian air force MiG-29 fighter jets and several Aero Vodochody L-39 trainers based at Belbek. After the Russian take over, a number of aircraft were transported to Ukraine, where some of them returned to service in August.

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest

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Two Russian Su-30s at Fairford in 1997. That year saw probably the greatest airshow ever at Fairford. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Two Russian Su-30 Flankers. (Image © Elmer van Hest)