World Defense & Security News - Russia
Russian Tu-95MS bombers launched 12 Kh-101 cruise missiles in massive airstrike against IS
The Tu-95MS strategic bombers launched Kh-101 air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) against the objects of the Islamic State and Jabhat an-Nusra terroristic groupings in Syria, according to the head of the Ministry of Defense`s (MoD) Department of Information and Mass Communications Mayor General Igor Konashenkov.
Tu-95MS fired Kh-101 cruise missiles at ISIS objects in Syria
(Credit: Russian MoD)
"Having taken off from the Engels airbase, the Tu-95 strategic aircraft flew through Iranian and Iraqi airspace. [When they were] in the Syrian skies, the crews launched Kh-101 cruise missiles against critical objects of the IS` and Jabhat an-Nusra`s terrorists in Deir ez-Zor and Idlib provinces" Konashenkov said.

The sudden airstrikes resulted in the destruction of the terrorists` command posts, manpower/materiel concentration areas and munition depots. The objective control means confirmed the elimination of all the targets.

The strikes against the IS` (forbidden in Russia) objects near Deir ez-Zor were conducted to support the successful advance of the pro-governmental forces on the last area in Syria held by the terrorists. All the destructed targets were located outside inhabited localities and at a safe distance from the strongholds of the US special forces and the militants of so-called ‘Syrian democratic forces’ in the areas held by IS (forbidden in Russia).

According to the footage published by the MoD on its official YouTube channel, three Tu-95MS strategic bomber armed with four Kh-101 cruise missiles each participated in the combat sortie. Therefore, this was the first salvo launch of the air-launched weapon during the counter-terrorism operation in Syria. Previously, the Tu-95MS launched the Kh-101 ALCMs only in pairs.

Accomplishing the combat mission, the Tu-95MS bombers successfully covered 7,000 km, having been refueled by the Il-78M aerial tankers. The strategic aircraft were supported by the Su-30SM and Su-35S fighter jets stationed at the Humaymim airbase.

Since November 2015, Russia`s Aerospace Forces (VKS) have launched nearly 110 Kh-555 and cutting-edge Kh-101 ALCMs against the terrorists` objects in Syria. These air-launched munitions are carried by the Tu-160M, the Tu-95MS and the Tu-95MSM strategic aircraft. The missiles were mostly used in November 2015, when 83 ALCMs were launched. In 2016-2017, the Tu-95MSM strategic aircraft of the Aerospace Forces` Long-Range Aviation used over 25 Kh-101 missiles.

On November 17, 2016, the Tu-95MSM aircraft used the Kh-101 missile for the first time.
Tu-95MS fired Kh-101 cruise missiles at ISIS objects in Syria
(Credit: Russian MoD)
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