Russia is now equipping its Su-34 fighters with air-to-air missiles in preparation for potential dogfights with NATO over Syria.
“Today, Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers have made their first sortie equipped not only with high explosive aviation bombs and hollow charge bombs, but also with short- and medium-range air-to-air missiles,” Russian Air Force spokesman Igor Klimov told RT. “The planes are equipped with missiles for defensive purposes.”
He also added the missiles are “capable of hitting air targets within a 60km radius.”
It’s obvious that Russia is not equipping its jets with air-to-air missiles to fight ground-based ISIS militants but rather to prevent Turkish F-16s from shooting down more of its planes.
Turkey, a NATO ally, shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber on Nov. 24, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace, but Moscow rejected the claim.