Russian state TV showed the country’s new Sukhoi SU-30SM2 fighter jets on Sunday being deployed to the Kaliningrad region amid geopolitical tensions with Western countries.
The four fighter jets delivered to the Chernyakhovsk Air Base were manufactured at the Irkutsk aviation plant and will be part of the Russian Baltic Fleet.
The Baltic Fleet has launched the training of the crews for Sukhoi Su-30SM2 multipurpose fighter jets. The jets will be used to provide additional protection for the air group that stands on guard of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, The Izvestia newspaper reports with reference to sources in the Defence Ministry.
The new aircraft will enter service at the 4th Guards Marine Assault Regiment. The source of the publication noted that the crews of the aircraft, specialists of engineering and aerodrome support already work to master the Su-30SM2. First fighters will enter service at the regiment in 2022.
The 4th Guards Assault Regiment serves to combat ground, air and sea targets in the waters of the Kaliningrad exclave. This military unit, along with the 689th Fighter Aviation Regiment, protects Kaliningrad from air strikes both from the sea and from the borders of neighboring states.
The Sukhoi Su-30SM2 fighter is unified with the Su-35S. The aircraft is outfitted with AL-41F1S engines with the variable thrust vector, but downgraded BARS R radar. The aircraft is also equipped with a multi-channel integrated communication, data exchange, navigation and identification system.
The Su-30SM2 also integrates a BARS R radar, which is less expensive than Irbis-E radar. The first squadron of Su-30SM2s will reportedly be stationed in Kaliningrad, and this particularly sensitive location points to additional challenges for the Alliance, according to Military Watch Magazine.
Amid tensions with Ukraine and NATO, Russia has launched military drills across multiple fronts including Baltic sea.
Its massing of an estimated 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine has brought increasingly strong warnings from the West that Moscow intends to invade.
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