Russia has deployed four Su-27SM3 jet fighters to Belarus as it increases its military presence there. (Wikimedia)
WARSAW — 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 Belarusian Ministry of Defense did not comment on the jet fighters’ deployment, but Russian technical staff arrived at the base along with the aircraft, according to news agency BelaPAN.
The city is located about 130 kilometers from the border of Poland and 40 kilometers from Lithuania.
Earlier this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans to step up its military presence in Belarus by establishing an air base in the country. Shoigu said the first aircraft would arrive on Belarusian soil by the end of this year.
The aircraft are a modernized variant of the Su-27, fitted with new engines, missiles and a glass cockpit.
Under the plan, further Russian jet fighters are to be deployed to the air base by 2015.