The media reports that a large number of Russian bombers carrying 132 long-range cruise missiles are preparing for a new air raid on Ukraine.
The Defense Express website recently published satellite images obtained on November 28, showing that the Russian strategic air force has deployed a large number of strategic bombers to the Engels airbase in the Saratov region. capable of carrying long-range cruise missiles.
Accordingly, 14 strategic bombers Tu-95MS Bear-H (accounting for 20% of the total number of aircraft in the Tu-95MS squadron) and 4 strategic bombers Tu-160 Blackjack (20% of Tu-160 aircraft). -160 in the Russian strategic air force) was suddenly present at this airport.
Western and Ukrainian military experts fear that the Russian strategic air force could use this missile to launch an attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with offensive cruise missiles. Accurate launch from the air.
The Engels Air Base in the Saratov region is about 1,000km from the Ukrainian border, a distance considered “too small” compared to the range of tens of thousands of kilometers of Russian strategic bombers, which regularly conduct patrol flights from Russia to South America.
Even with the range of thousands of kilometers of Kh-555 and Kh-101 cruise missiles, Russian aircraft can fly over the airfield of this airport and still launch missiles at all targets above Ukrainian territory.
The “liveuamap” page has also publicly made available a new satellite image of Engels Air Force Base, taken on November 28, 2022. For added convenience, the authors of the photo resource have divided the image into three separate layers, on each of which we can see the following planes.
For example, in classes 2 and 3, a total of 14 Tu-95MS strategic bombers (gray fuselage color) and 4 Tu-160 strategic bombers (fuselage color) can be clearly counted. white) is parked on the tarmac of Engels Airport. In addition, there are several other aircraft in the first class.
In class 1, on the left is a giant white An-124 transport plane. Usually, Russia uses this type of aircraft to transport urgent and secret cargo, for example, a batch of cruise missiles or some equipment for the combat preparation of the bomber’s strategy.
In the middle are four slightly smaller transport aircraft, obviously Il-76 heavy transport aircraft (for missile transport) and possibly Il-78 type refueling aircraft specialized for refueling. fuel for long-range bombers of the Russian strategic air force (the two aircraft are similar in the fuselage).
And on the far right is the smallest aircraft, which looks like Tu-134UBL. In Soviet times, these planes were used to train pilots of strategic aviation. Later, Russia upgraded them to the standard Tu-134 A-4 and could become an airborne command center.
Ukrainian and Western military experts say that the unusual presence of these aircraft shows that it is likely that high-ranking Russian officers are present at Engels airport, to directly control the aircraft preparing for a new missile attack on Ukraine.
Although the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 have a sufficient range to attack Ukraine, so aerial refueling is not necessary, but here it should not be ruled out that the Russian Air Force is taking advantage of the refueling aircraft to maximize the missile-carrying capacity of these two types of aircraft.
In this direction, the Russian strategic air force can load less fuel for the aircraft to improve the ability to load weapons, after a time when the Tu-95 and Tu-160 have used up most of their fuel, they will use refueling aircraft to refuel them to continue operating.
The large number of strategic bombers and auxiliary aircraft at Engels airfield clearly shows the increased danger to Ukraine. The maximum number that all these aircraft can launch at one time into Ukraine is up to 132 Kh-555 and Kh-101 cruise missiles.