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CHELYABINSK, March 17. /TASS/. The Russian Aerospace Force has gained unique experience in the Syria operation, acquiring new techniques of piloting, Head of the Tactical Aviation Combat Training Department of the Aerospace Force Main Command Major-General Oleg Makovetsky said on Thursday.
The general greeted earlier on Thursday the crews of three Sukhoi Su-24M frontline bombers that had returned to their permanent base near Chelyabinsk in the Urals after the Syria operation.
"We have learnt much from this operation: we have acquired new methods and techniques of piloting and have got convinced in the reliability of our military hardware. This unique experience will benefit the Russian Aerospace Force and will only strengthen its might. The crews are very reliable and can accomplish any mission at any time, day and night," Major-General Makovetsky said.
The Russian frontline bombers upgraded for operation with the SVP-24 aerial munition targeting system have demonstrated their excellent capabilities in Syria, the general said.
The upgraded warplanes can instantly receive target acquisition data and deliver strikes against reconnoitered objectives, he added.
Despite their age, the Su-24 bombers have demonstrated "splendid flight capabilities, unique accuracy characteristics and the ability to take part in reconnaissance and strike actions," the general said.
"They will still remain operational and demonstrate all that has been incorporated in them by designers," the general said.
Syria operation proves Russian aviation readiness to operate worldwide
The Syria operation has demonstrated Russian aviation’s ability to quickly deploy combat-capable groupings and conduct long combat operations in any part of the world, Makovetsky said.
"The past six months in Syria have vividly demonstrated that the Aerospace Force’s aviation is capable of creating combat-ready groupings in any part of the world within short time limits, reliably destroying any enemy, conducting long combat operations with the maximum combat intensity and also returning quickly, confidently and calmly to home aerodromes," Makovetsky said.
The general thanked the entire aviation personnel performing combat missions in Syria for professionalism, "for the high quality of combat deployment against any objectives."
Central Military District Troops Deputy Commander Major-General Sergei Poletuchy said that the Russian pilots "gave the Syrian people the hope for peaceful labor and for the return to their homes."
"You’re worthy representatives of the Russian Armed Forces. Your missiles and bombs hit only terrorists. We would like your experience to find reflection every day in combat training," he said.
The pilots of Su-24M aircraft who returned to their permanent airbase were awarded the medals "Syria Operation Participant" at the airfield.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered on Monday to start pulling out the basic contingent of the Russian air task force from Syria as of March 15.
As the Russian leader said, the missions assigned to the military "have been accomplished as a whole."
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said that the fight against terrorist groupings in Syria, to which the ceasefire regime is not applicable, will be continued. Two Russian facilities - the Hmeimim air base and the Tartus naval facility - will continue operating in Syria.