Russian released film shows super advanced MiG31BM being prepared for flight alongside the TU22M3s at Mozdok Air Base.
The Russians have released a number of very interesting videos showing their bombers engaged in an early morning strike apparently on 19th November 2015.
The video showing a TU22M3 in action is the most interesting.
It gives an idea of the size of some of the bombs being used.
Right at the beginning of the film there are pictures of the technicians at Mozdok loading the bombs. It is obvious that they are much bigger than the bombs used by the Russian aircraft at the base in Latakia.
There are 12 bombs in total. They are probably 2,000 kg bombs.
Most likely this was a strike on an oil facility. A strike of 12 2,000 kg bombs on such a facility would be utterly devastating.
The most interesting thing however in the whole film comes right at the start.
This shows parked near to the TU22M3 as it is being prepared for the mission, what is unmistakably a MiG31BM.
This is the most powerful interceptor aircraft in the world.
It has a crew of two, has an exceptionally long range, can fly at three times the speed of sound (faster than any other fighter aircraft in the world today) and can also fly supersonically for long distances (“supercruise”).
It also has exceptionally advanced and powerful radar and electronics, and carries extremely powerful missiles that are able to engage enemy aircraft at very long distances.
Its radar has a detection range against airborne targets of - it is believed - 320 kms and can track 24 targets simultaneously, allowing the aircraft to engage 10 targets with its missiles simultaneously.
The MiG31BM’s very long range, and its uniquely capable radar, electronics and weapons, makes it a rather more obvious escort for the bombers than the less capable - though more manoeuvrable - SU27SM.
The fact the Russians are showing the MiG31BM in the film - seemingly being prepared for flight by ground technicians - suggests it is already escorting the Russian bombers on their missions or will shortly be.
If so, in terms of establishing Russia’s air ascendancy of the skies over Syria, it would be as big a game changer as deployment of S300 or S400 missiles on the ground.
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