29 May 2024
Thursday 18 August 2016 - 14:58
Story Code : 227515

Three reasons why Russia deployed Tu-22M3 strategic bombers to Iran

Russia deployed Tupolev Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range strategic bombers to the Hamadan airfield in Iran to cut flight times, increase bomb capacity and improve response capabilities of its aircraft taking part in the operation to liberate Aleppo since the outcome of this battle could well determine the future of Syria.





The Tu-22M3 deployment "does not merely help tosave time and fuel," Svobodnaya Pressa reported. "Missions launched fromthe Hamadan airfield allow Russian aircraft tosignificantly increase bomb capacity ofeach plane." They are estimated tobe capable ofcarrying three times greater payload.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="608"] In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac while another plane lands at an air base near Hamedan, Iran. In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac while another plane lands at an air base near Hamedan, Iran.[/caption]

On August 15, an undisclosed number ofthe Tupolev Tu-22M3s and the Sukhoi Su-34s left the airfield inthe Russian town ofMozdok located inthe Republic ofNorth OssetiaAlania and landed atthe Hamadan airfield inIran.

Some have questioned why the Tu-22M3s bombers were not deployed toHmeymim sincethe Russian airbase inSyria is closer toAleppo thenHamadan. The reason is simple. The Tu-22M3s are too heavy touse the airstrip inHmeymim. But the base played a major part inthe latest counterterrorism offensive. The Su-30SM and Su-35S aircraft that provided cover forthe Russian bombers deployed toIran took offfrom the base inSyria.

This tactic paid off. On August 16, Russian airstrikes destroyed five large ammunition depots withweapons, munitions and fuel, aswell asmilitant training camps nearthe cities ofSerakab, Al-Ghab, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor cities. In addition, Russian bombers razed tothe ground three command and control centers nearthe cities ofJafra and Deir ez-Zor. A "significant number ofmilitants" were killed inwhat the Russian Defense Ministry described asa "concentrated airstrike."

These facilities, the ministry added, were used tosupport and assist radical groups fighting near Aleppo.

"The Russian Armed Forces have never carried outsuch a major and well-coordinated operation interms oftiming, multiple fronts and targets," the media outlet observed.

Defense analyst Anatoly Nesmiyan told Svobodnaya Pressa that the decision todeploy bombers tothe Hamadan air base could have been made "in response toIran's discontent withthe situation aroundAleppo."
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah, he added, were not happy that air cover did not arrive asfast asthey needed it. "Perhaps, Iran allowed Russia touse its air base undercondition that Russian aircraft will focus more onbombing rebel-held areas inAleppo."


Nesmiyan emphasized that Russian planes have long been active inthe region, butthey could not respond fast tomilitant offensives.


The analyst mentioned several challenges that the Russian-led counterterrorism coalition has faced. For instance, cooperation betweenRussian, Syrian and Iranian troops has not been fully established. "In addition, there are not enough planes atHmeymim tostrike all targets," he added.

Defense analyst Andrey Frolov, the editor-in-chief ofArms Export magazine, also pointed totime asthe main issue behindthe decision tosend Russian bombers toIran. He also mentioned several reasons behindthe Tu-22M3 deployment.



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="609"]In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, A Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac at an air base near Hamedan, Iran. In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, A Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac at an air base near Hamedan, Iran.[/caption]

Firstly, it helps "to drastically cut flight time and response time tomilitant activities," he said. "Using Hamadan also helps toincrease bomb capacity. In addition, the Tu-22M3s could be used inthe same way asthe US employed the B-1B Lancers intheir recent campaigns, fordirect fire support operations."

Svobodnaya Pressa also pointed outthat the Tu-22M3 deployment was part ofa larger change inthe strategic landscape withregard tothe Syrian battlefield.

On August 12, the Zelenyy Dol and Serpukhov corvettes carrying eight Kalibr-NK cruise missiles left Sevastopol heading forSyrian shores. Meanwhile, a surface action group, comprising the Tatarstan and Dagestan frigates, aswell asthe Grad Sviyazhsk and Velikiy Ustyug corvettes, was deployed tothe Caspian Sea. These ships were carrying a total of24 Kalibr-NK cruise missiles.

By Sputnik News
https://theiranproject.com/vdcb8zb5srhb5sp.4eur.html
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