Russian Su-25 aircraft return to Syria with Vitebsk active protection system

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The upgraded Russian Su-25SM3 attack aircraft fitted with new Vitebsk active protection system return to Syria.

Russian TV Channel website has released video footage of upgraded Su-25SM3 attack aircraft  flying over Latakia during Syrian Arab Army offensive.

The Su-25SM3 is an extensively modified version of the Su-25.  The Su-25SM3 version was developed following the results of flight tests carried out in 2013 and 2014. Su-25SM3 version differs significantly even from upgraded Su-25SM strike-fighters in terms of weapons and avionics suite.

The upgraded version of aircraft was equipped with SOLT-25 optical laser remote thermal imaging system and L370K25 Vitebsk-25 electronic countermeasures system, which protects the individual platform any other aircraft it flies with by providing countermeasures against different radars and the homing heads of enemy air-to-air guided missiles.

The aircraft can  to carry a wide range of unguided bombs (eg FAB-500, OFAB-500U, OFZAB-500) and rockets (S-13, S-24 and S-25) and will be armed with a 9A623 30 mm cannon incorporating the VPU-17A fixed gun mount, the standard ammunition supply for which is 250 rounds.

The Su-25 were removed from the airfield Hmeymim based on the Russian aviation group in Syria between 15 and 20 March 2016 and has not since been observed in Syria.