HMEYMIM, /Syria/, May 26. /TASS/. The crews of Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers that arrived at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria on May 25 performed training flights over the Mediterranean Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"The crews of Tu-22M3 long-range bombers that arrived at the Russian Hmeymim airbase in the Syrian Arab Republic the other day have begun to accomplish the tasks of mastering the airspace in the Mediterranean maritime area. The Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have conducted training flights over the Mediterranean Sea," the ministry said.
The pilots gained the practical skills of fulfilling tasks in new geographical areas, it stressed.
"The aircraft of this type have been deployed at the Hmeymim airfield for the first time, which has become possible after the upgrade of the second runway with the complete replacement of the runway’s surface and the installation of new lighting navigational facilities and radio-technical equipment," the statement says.
The runway at the Hmeymim airbase has been extended to boost the airfield’s capabilities for receiving and servicing aircraft of various classes. Now all types of planes operational in the Russian Armed Forces can perform flights from the Hmeymim airbase, including heavy aircraft.
After performing their training flights over the Mediterranean, the long-range bombers will return to their home airbases in Russia, the ministry reported.