Russian long-range MiG-31K interceptors and Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, carrying hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, have landed at Khmeimim airbase in Syria, the Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday. The aircraft are set to take part in massive naval exercise staged by Moscow in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Footage released by the Russian military shows two Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, each carrying a Kinzhal missile on external pylons, touching down at the airfield.
The video also shows at least one MiG-31K jet, a variant of the iconic long-range supersonic interceptor modified specifically to carry the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missile. The plane pictured landing at Khmeimim, however, did not carry such munitions.
The planes covered a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers, traveling to Syria from their bases in Russia, the military said. The aircraft will be joining the drills held by a joint flotilla of the Russian Navy in the eastern Mediterranean, performing their “due” tasks, the military added, without providing any further detail.