Eternal Vigilance: Russian Attack Jets to Fly 1,800 Sorties by Year-End

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankSu-25SM strike jet aircraft
Su-25SM strike jet aircraft - Sputnik International
More than 1,800 training flights will reportedly be made by pilots of an aviation regiment of the Su-25SM attack aircraft stationed in Russia's Southern Military District before the end of this year.

Russian soldiers unload a Russian Sukhoi SU-25 plane in al-Muthanna Iraqi military base at Baghdad airport in Baghdad, June 28, 2014. - Sputnik International
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By the end of 2015, pilots from an aviation regiment of Su-25SM attack aircraft stationed in Russia's Southern Military District will make over 1,800 sorties using standard weapons. They will perform more than 900 practical bombings, drop more than 1,500 bombs and launch at least 2,000 unguided air-to-surface missiles, according to the Russian TV network Zvezda, which is run by the Russian Defense Ministry.

The broadcaster said that one third of firing and bombings will take place at night amid bad weather conditions. The exercises will focus on the use of standard weapons in mountainous areas and in different frequency ranges.

Stationed in Russia's Krasnodar region, the Su-25SM crews will wage war against a simulated enemy, attacking foot soldiers as well as armored vehicles, objects, and the bases of simulated enemy armed formations; the targets will also include large fuel-oil depots, as well as caches of weapons and ammunition.

Islamic State militants' positions near the Iraqi city of Tikrit were targeted by Iraqi military airstrikes, conducted from Russian-built Su-25 fighter jets, the local Al Sumaria TV channel reported on Thursday. - Sputnik International
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The Su-25SM is a modernized version of the Su-25 attack aircraft, a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft which was developed in the former USSR by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It was designed to provide close air support to Soviet Ground Forces, and its first prototype made its maiden flight in February 1975.

The first upgraded Su-25SM, which has significantly better survivability and better combat effectiveness, was flown in March 2002.

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