Russia Deploys First Fighter Jets to Belarus

Sukhoi Su-27 Fighter JetFrom Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense News:  Russia has deployed the first four Su-27SM3 fighter jets to Belarus. The aircraft will be stationed at the 61st air base in Baranavichi, reported local daily Belorusskiy Partizan. . . .

The city is located about 130 kilometers from the border of Poland and 40 kilometers from Lithuania. . . .

Under the plan, further Russian jet fighters are to be deployed to the air base by 2015.

From RIA Novosti:  The Russian Defense Ministry recently announced plans to deploy a fighter jet regiment in Belarus by 2015. The majority of the planes will be stationed at a future Russian airbase in Lida, a town in northwestern Belarus, near the Polish and Lithuanian borders.

The airbase will be Russia’s first on Belarusian territory in modern times and will consolidate defense cooperation under the auspices of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, defense officials in Moscow have said.

European defense officials have bristled at evidence of Russia’s increased military deployments close to NATO’s border, claiming it fuels tension with former Communist bloc countries in Central Europe and the Baltic States.

But Moscow has repeatedly said Russian-Belarus defense ties are a legitimate effort to ensure a solid defense for the countries’ Union State.

Image: Sukhoi Su-27 Fighter Jet (photo: Dmitriy Pichugin)