The Syrian Air Force has received a batch of Su-24M2 bombers from Russia, according to the AMN news agency.
The news agency said:
“The Syrian Air Force has received several Su-24M2 aircraft supplied by Russia in order to beef up the Damascus’ combat capabilities to fight against international terrorism. At present, two Su-24M2 aircraft have been delivered with eight more planes to be transferred in the nearest future.”
The Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. The aircraft has a variable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its two crew. It was the first of the USSR’s aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation/attack system.
It remains in service with the Russian Air Force, Ukrainian Air Force, and various air forces to which it was exported.
The Su-24M2 is a modernisation of Su-24M. The modernised aircraft are equipped with new equipment and systems. As a result, they have new capabilities and improved combat efficiency.
Syrian Fencers have reportedly also been involved in near-encounters with NATO warplanes. The first of such incidents occurred in early September 2013, when Syrian Fencers of the 819th Squadron flew low over the Mediterranean and approached the 14-mile air exclusion zone surrounding the British airbase in Akrotiri, Cyprus.
The jets were turned back before reaching the area by two RAF Typhoons being scrambled to intercept them. Turkey also sent two F-16s.
On September 23, 2014, a Syrian Su-24 was shot down by an Israeli Air Defense Command MIM-104D Patriot missile near Quneitra, after it had penetrated 800 metres into Israeli controlled airspace over the Golan Heights. The missile hit the aircraft when it already re-entered into the Syrian air space. Both crew members ejected safely and landed in Syrian territory.