Russia's Defense Ministry on Tuesday released a high-definition video showing one of its Su-24 fighter-bombers conducting a sortie over the skies of war-torn Syria. The video was accompanied by a statement claiming Russian planes bombed 600 terrorist targets over the past four days.
The Su-24 was designed by Russia's storied Sukhoi aircraft design bureau and first flew in 1976. The aircraft features adjustable wings that allow the aircraft to optimize its shape for supersonic flight through enemy territory.
According to the TASS news agency, Su-24 bombers are the primary aircraft in use by Russia's limited air contingent currently deployed to a Syrian government-held airbase in the region of Latakia, near Syria's Mediterranean coast.
The Su-24's max speed is 1,250 kilometers per hour. It is armed with a 23mm cannon, and 8 mounting points for a variety of Russian-made guided and unguided bombs and missiles. The fighter-bomber can engage both aerial and ground-based targets.
As part of Russia's ongoing 20 trillion ruble ($255 billion) military modernization drive, the air force hopes to replace 120 of the Soviet-designed aircraft with the newer Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber — several of which are also taking part in Russia's air campaign in Syria.