Russia sends additional fighter jets to Armenia base near Turkey
Russia sends additional fighter jets to Armenia base near Turkey –
A Russian MiG-29 fighter jet takes off from a military airport in Yerevan
The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that Moscow has deployed several fighter jets and a transport helicopter to Russia’s airbase in Armenia near the border with Turkey.
The announcement came a day after a Russian draft resolution that called for an immediate end to Turkey’s shelling and military actions against Syria was turned down at the United Nations Security Council.
The aircraft have been transported to a military airfield in the Armenian capital of Yerevan and will soon arrive at Erebuni airfield, where planes attached to the 102th military are based, the command for the South-Eastern Military District said on Saturday.
“Soon military engineers will assemble generation 4+ fighter jets and the Mi-8MT helicopter, which will then enter service,” the report said.“The unit’s pilots will start practice flights on the new Mig-29s in mid-March.”
Four of the fighter jets are regular Mig-29s, which were recently overhauled. Another one is an upgraded Mig-29S version, which has double the payload amounting to four tons and several other improvements. The new aircraft strengthen the 18 Mig-29s and 7 Mi-24P helicopter gunships already based at Erebuni.
The build-up comes amid a period of high tension between Russia and Turkey in the wake of the downing of a Russian bomber by the Turkish Air Force on the Syrian border. Erebuni airfield is south of Yerevan and about 20km from the Turkish border.