From The Daily Beast: Russia Pounds ISIS With Biggest Bomber Raid in Decades
Putin’s air force just used its nuclear bombers to lay waste to the capital of the ‘Islamic State.’ But they also hit areas that have little to do with ISIS.
The Russian air force just pulled off one of the biggest and most complex heavy bomber missions in modern history—sending no fewer than 25 Backfire, Bear, and Blackjack bombers on a coordinated, long-range air raid against alleged ISIS forces in Syria.
The Tuesday mission, which launched under the cover of darkness from a base in Ossetia in southern Russia, signaled a significant escalation of Moscow’s air war in Syria—and heralded the rebirth of Russian heavy bomber squadrons that once had withered from a lack of funding.
Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s general staff, announced the raid on Tuesday, calling it part of “a new plan [for] the air campaign.”
“During a massive airstrike today, 14 important ISIL targets were destroyed by 34 air-launched cruise missiles,” Gerasimov said, using an alternative acronym for the terror army. “The targets destroyed include command posts that were used to coordinate ISIL activities in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, munition and supply depots in the northwestern part of Syria.”
The Russian Defense Ministry released a video depicting three types of Russian bombers arming, taking off, dropping munitions, and then returning to base, escorted along their flight paths by Su-27 fighters.
The swing-wing, jet-propelled Tu-22M Backfires apparently carried unguided “dumb” bombs. The video depicts airmen loading clusters of cruise missiles in the bomb bays of the propeller-driven Tu-95 Bears and the huge, swing-wing Tu-160 Blackjack jets, which at 177 feet long are the biggest combat planes ever built.
From War Is Boring: Russian Heavy Bombers Fly Huge Raid in Syria
On Nov. 17, Russia sent nearly 40 heavy bombers and escorting fighter jets on a massive air raid in Syria. Moscow has now showed off almost all of its aerial arsenal in strikes in the embattled Middle Eastern country.
Flying from bases in Russia, 25 Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers launched more than 30 cruise missiles and dropped dumb bombs on targets in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. A dozen Su-34 and Su-27SM fighter jets escorted the bombers on their mission.
The operation is the first ever combat mission for the massive Tu-160 Blackjack bomber. Similar in their basic configuration to the American B-1 “Bone,” the larger four-engine swing-wing bombers can fly twice as fast as the speed of sound and carry some 40 tons of bombs and missiles in two internal bomb bays.
The smaller, twin-engine Tu-22M3 Backfires can lug more than 50,000 pounds of weapons – similar to the B-1. The huge turboprop Tu-95MS Bears have the smallest maximum load – more than 30,000 pounds – of Moscow’s bomber fleet.
Already flying missions over Syria, the Su-34 Fullbacks are among Russia’s most advanced fighter jets, combining a highly maneuverable design with powerful radars and other gear. The Su-27SMs are the latest members of Moscow’s Flanker fleet and the most recent upgrades incorporate technology used on the Su-35 Super Flanker.
[Original video --Russia: Intensified air campaign kills "about 600" militants - General Kartapolov - YouTube -- taken down]
Published on Nov 18, 2015
Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov of Russia's armed forces announced from Moscow, Wednesday, that "one of the militant groups lost about 600 people," on the first day of Russia's redoubled air strike campaign against militant groups in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier gave the greenlight to intensify airstrikes following news that Russia's Metrojet airliner was downed in Egypt by a bomb attack.
SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "Yesterday, in accordance with the Air Operation plan, the first massive aviation attack was carried out against 206 terrorist targets. In total 127 sorties were made."
SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "According to the information that we have, on November 17 one of the militant groups lost about 600 people."
､C/U Bombs being dropped footage *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*
､SOT, Andrei Kartapolov, Colonel-General, General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian): "In recent years, ISIS and other extremist groups have established a so-called "pipeline on wheels" in controlled territory. Hundreds of trucks transfer thousands of tons of crude oil to Iraq. This is one of the main sources of terrorist funding."