Syrian Air Force Confirms Delivery of New Russian Warplanes

Officials Say They Got Fighters, Recon Planes

Reports of Russia completing delivery of promised warplanes to Syria were confirmed today by an unnamed official in the Syrian Air Force, confirming they got “at least five” advanced fighter jets as well as a number of reconnaissance aircraft and other “sophisticated military equipment.”

The confirmation follows US reports of 28 Russian planes in the country, though how many of these were actually to be delivered to the Syrian Air Force and how many are simply there to protect the Russian specialists they have expanding the Syrian air base in Latakia as part of another military contract remains unclear.

The Syrian officials also didn’t identify the planes they got, but some are likely to be among the MiG-29 contracts that Syria had signed with Russia in the past. Syria’s Air Force is almost exclusively built out of Russian MiGs and Sukhol planes.

In addition to the Russian expansion of the air field in Latakia, there are unconfirmed reports out of IHS Jane’s suggesting Russia is also doing construction at another pair of Syrian base along the coast. Both sites were also within a few miles of Latakia, and one is adjacent to the site of one of Syria’s air defense systems.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.