BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – US officials, according to Fox News, are saying that the Russian air grouping in Syria has stationed three Su-25 ground-attack aircraft at the T-4 Military Airport in central Homs.
For now, until other sources come through on clarifying the matter, the development will be treated by Al-Masdar News as unconfirmed.
If it does in fact turn out to be the case that the Russian Aerospace Forces (RuAF) have deployed a flight of Su-25’s to the T-4 Airbase, then the implications of this for pro-government forces fighting in eastern Syria are tremendous.
One historical problem with RuAF fixed-wing aircraft carrying out combat sorties in eastern Syria is that a given aircraft’s payload has to be reduced and it takes longer for the jet get to its target, at which time the tactical situation on the ground may have changed.
By deploying ground-attack aircraft like the Su-25 at the T-4 Airbase, the RuAF will be able to reach their designated targets quicker, loiter over the target for longer and carry more ordinance.
The Su-25 ‘Frogfoot’ is a dedicated ground-attack aircraft, designed specifically for carrying out close air support (CAS) missions. The aircraft is well-armored, has two engines to increase it suitability and can carry a stunning array of bombs, missiles and rockets in addition to having a powerful 30-mm autocannon.