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Russian aircraft carry out longest flights since WWII during Syrian operation

Russian naval forces were for the first time used on such a scale since World War II

KUBINKA /Moscow region/, August 25. /TASS/. The Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based fighters carried out a slew of 300-kilometer-long flights from the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier during the Syrian mission in the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky said at a roundtable dedicated to the Russian military’s activities in Syria.

"While fulfilling combat tasks, the Mikoyan MiG-29k/KUB and Sukhoi Su-33 aircraft were tested," he said. "In order to hit targets located at a distance of more than 300 kilometers in the Damascus and Deir-ez-Zor areas, Su-33 fighters used," the vice admiral noted.

At the same time, the MiG-29K/KUB aircraft carried out air strikes on targets located near Idlib, Aleppo, and Palmyra.

The aircraft deployed to the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier conducted over 400 combat flights, destroying around 1,300 targets of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia).

"During military operations in Syria, Russian naval forces were for the first time used on such a (large) scale since World War II, that the Navy gained experience in using carrier-based aircraft," Volozhinsky stressed.

Besides, the navy tried out the Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles, and trained to rapidly deploy equipment outside Russia using landing craft.

"We also tested the use of anti-submarine forces and equipment in actual combat situation. The Russian Navy’s activities in Syria have proved that the decision to set up a naval facility in Syria’s Tartus was a right one," the Navy chief concluded.

Kalibr missiles 

Tests for long-range precision-guided weapons in Syria have demonstrated that the Russian Navy is capable of providing military presence in distant parts of the Global Ocean up in arms, Chairman of the Military Science Committee of the Russian Armed Forces and Deputy Head of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Igor Makushev, said.

"A massive launch of Kalibr winged missiles, including from a submarine in the undersea domain, in combat conditions has been carried out for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy. Application of precision-guided shipborne weapons made it possible to hit targets at a distance of up to 1,500 kilometers with the required precision," Makushev said at a roundtable discussion on the Syrian experience at the Army-2017 international military technical forum.

He stressed that the completed tests for the long-range precision weapons proved the Navy’s ability to "secure military presence in distant parts of the Global Ocean on a long-term basis ready to carry out single, group and joint strikes."

The Russian Navy hit terrorist facilities in Syria with the Kalibr winged missiles numerous times. For instance, on June 23 the Russian Defense Ministry reported such launches from the Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich frigates and the Krasnodar submarine. The sudden massive missile strike destroyed command points and large munition depots of the Islamic State (a terror organization outlawed in Russia) near the community of Akerbat, Hama Governorate.