16:09 GMT03 August 2021
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    The mystery behind reports of Russian fifth-gen stealth fighters allegedly deployed at Hmeymim airbase stays unsolved, as an Israeli satellite operator reveals imagery of something that resembles two Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets, parked at the airbase in Syria.

    An Israeli Eros B satellite, which belongs to the iSi satellite operator reportedly has managed to take a picture of several vehicles at Hmeymim airbase in Syria. Two of them looked very much like Russian latest fifth-generation jets Su-57.

    ​The rumours about Russian stealth fighters deployment in Syria have been circulating in media since Febuary 21, when pictures of what looked like two Su-57 started to appear in social media. The reports also said that the jet fighters had been escorted by Russian 4+ generation Sui-30SM multi-role fighter jets.

    ​Couple of days later, Sputnik Arabic reported, referring to local media outlets, that two more Russian fifth generation Su-57 stealth fighters have arrived at Hmeymim Airbase.

    ​Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the reports by saying that the issue was "more within the responsibility of the Defense Ministry," and redirecting the question to the MoD. So far, Russian Defense Ministry have stayed mum on the subject.

    The new Su-57 aircraft is designed by Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi for air superiority and attack roles. The machine is fitted, among other things, with advanced avionics system capable of autonomous calculations of the battlefield situation as well as airborne active phased array radar, capable of detecting air, ground and naval targets at distances far beyond most modern systems.

    PAK FA (Advanced Tactical Air Sistem) T-50
    © Sputnik
    PAK FA (Advanced Tactical Air Sistem) T-50

    On Thursday, Russian lawmaker Vladimir Gutenev told Sputnik that the deployment of the Russian stealth fighters may serve as a constraining factor for aircraft of neighboring states that periodically violate Syrian airspace.

    Shortly after the reports have started to appear, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon responded by saying that the deployment of Russian Su-57 fighter jets in Syria poses no threat to the US-led coalition’s military operations.

    The United States is known to have its own fifth-generation stealth fighter, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, deployed in the Middle Eastern theatre. In December, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesperson reported that an American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River. The US-led coalition currently conducts its military operations in Syria without UN approval or coordination with the Syrian government.


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