According to Colonel Igor Klimov of the Russian Air Force in Hmeymim Air Base in Syria, the Mi-24 helicopters are currently being used for patrolling the area around the airfield and for potential search and rescue missions. The Mi-24 is considered to be one of most deadly and versatile helicopters in the world.
“The Mi-24 accelerates up to 300 kilometers per hour and rises to an altitude of up to 4.5 kilometers,” Klimov told RIA Novosti.
Each Russian Mi-24 helicopter in Syria is also armed with four blocks of 20 unguided air-to ground rockets and a 30-millimeter cannon.
The helicopters are said to currently be patrolling the area of the Hmeymim air base where Russia's air force is stationed, although their use could be expanded.
In addition to the Mi-24 helicopters, Russia has deployed Mi-8AMTSh “Terminator” transport and combat helicopters to Syria.
Russian warships have also attacked Islamic State targets in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday during a meeting with President Putin.
“Besides using aviation to destroy militants, this morning ships from the Caspian Flotilla were brought in, four destroyers launched 26 Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles at 11 targets,” Shoigu told Putin in a meeting televised by Rossiya-1.
Earlier this week, a group of Russian Black Sea Fleet ships has conducted missile and artillery exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea Fleet Press Attaché Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said.
“Today, the Black Sea flagship missile cruiser, the Moskva, the Ladny guided missile frigate and the cruisers Pytlivy and Smetlivy completed firing exercises at marine and air targets using artillery and missile complexes,” Trukhachyov said. The ships also practiced using chafe and depth charges.
All targets were destroyed, Shoigu said. “The fact that we launched high-precision cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea at approximately 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) and hit all of the targets says much about the good training in the military-industrial complex and good skills of the staff,” he added.
In the meantime, Haqim Zamli, Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Defense and Security Committee told Sputnik on Wednesday that “Iraq may turn to Russia with a request to conduct airstrikes against the positions of Islamic State militants in Iraq if Russia is successful in Syria, that is if the airstrikes are effective and actual, and if we see that Russia is operating effectively in Syria.”
Source: Sputnik; RIA Novosti