Russia battle-tests 160 new weapon systems in Syrian conflict

Russia's Defence Minister on Tuesday said over 160 weapons systems were successfully battle-tested throughout the course of the anti-terror operations in Syria. "During the operations in Syria over 160 cutting-edge weapons systems were tested," Efe news quoted Sergei Shoygu as saying. The head of Russian defence highlighted that the new weapons systems "in general terms demonstrated a high degree of reliability".

Shoygu highlighted some systems that have received their baptism of fire in Syria: Su-30SM and Su-34 fighter jets, Mi-28N and Ka-52 attack helicopters and Kalibr cruise missiles, among other weapon platforms. He said that 10 of the 162 weapons showed flaws that had not been identified during initial testing, thereby enabling the ministry to halt deliveries until their manufacturers fixed them. "It is important to point out that not only 84 per cent of our Aerospace Forces pilots have flown (Syrian) combat missions but have also put their weapons to the test," said the minister. On September 30, 2015, an aerial bombing campaign was launched by Russia in support of Damascus' armed forces. In the Syrian air base of Hmeimym, Russia has deployed expeditionary combat aircraft. Hmeimym air base was the destination of the Russian Tu-154 aircraft that crashed into the Black Sea on December 25, killing all 92 passengers aboard.

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