MOSCOW, August 5. /TASS/. The crews of Su-25SM3 close air support aircraft from the air regiment of the Southern Military District based in the Stavropol Region in south Russia have switched to practicing the skills of piloting at ultra-low altitudes for covert movements using terrain features, the District’s press office reported on Monday.
"The training flights are being performed by pairs and as part of flight formations, including in adverse weather conditions and at night. While performing flight assignments at an ultra-low altitude, the pilots are learning to move covertly, using the terrain features, and to dodge a notional enemy’s air defenses," the press office said in a statement.
The pilots are flying at altitudes of up to 25 meters above the ground. They are also practicing their operations in emergency situations, such as equipment failure and one engine landing, the statement says.
The training flights and measures for their provision involve over 100 flight and ground personnel of the air regiment. As the District’s press office told TASS, the drills involve more than 10 aircraft.
Su-25SM3 attack aircraft
The upgraded Su-25SM3 is outfitted with the improved guidance system and can launch missiles or drop bombs at a considerable distance from the target and in the absence of direct visibility. A TASS source earlier said that the upgraded Su-25SM3 aircraft would get an onboard target acquisition and sighting system with the elements of artificial intelligence that would enable pilots to strike selected targets actually without their participation.
The Su-25SM3 has also been equipped with the Glonass satellite navigation system’s PNK SVP-24-25 technology (the SVP-24 Gefest option) that allows programming a final point with an accuracy of up to 10 meters and will help raise the accuracy of unguided air-launched weapons to the level of guided munitions. The aircraft is capable of striking small-size ground facilities and air targets at any time of day or night. The upgrade has improved the plane’s combat efficiency threefold compared to other modifications.