It will host fighter jets, capable of strike in the area of 1500 kilometers in radius.
Experts believe that such equipment is intended not so much for strengthening air defense of the “union stated of Russia and Belarus”, but for flexing muscles next to the borders with NATO member-states, Deutsche Welle reports.
The plans of permanent deployment of a regiment of Russian Su-27 fighter jets starting in 2015 were announced in April by the Minister of Defense of Russia Sergey Shoygu at a meeting with Lukashenka. Although, regular patrol missions of Russian aviation over the territory of Belarus started already this year.
By mutual agreement, from 4 to 10Su-27 fighter jets are located in Belarus, which, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, “are on a combat duty, ensuring air defense and the integrity of the union state’s air space”. Next year Russian fighter jets are supposed to take permanent residence on Belarusian land, after having taken up a new Russian military base.
Currently, tow Russian Federation’s military bases operate in Belarus. First one, the 43th communication center of Russia’s Navy in Vilejka (Minsk region), has been in operation since 1964. The facility provides for the communications of the Navy’s main headquarters with nuclear submarines on combat duty in Atlantic, Indian and partly Pacific Oceans. Apart from that the communication center deals with radio and technical intelligence and radio electronic warfare.
The other military base, a radiolocation station Volga, located near Baranavichy (Brest region), despite being founded in 1986, started a combat duty only in 2003.
Being a missile attack warning system, the Volga is capable of detecting missiles as well as space units from the distance of 4800 kilometers. The radiolocations center also follows the movements of NATO submarines in North Atlantic.
According to a military observer Aliaksandr Alesin, both Russian military bases, located in the territory of Belarus, are primarily technical facilities, which mainly deal with intelligence, radiolocation and communications. Both of them have been given to Russia together with the land they stand on for 25 years of free use by an agreement as of 6 January 1995.
The new base, announced by Sergey Shoygu, is completely different from the two existing. According to the Commander in Chief of Russia’s Air Forces Viktor Bondarev, a regiment (24 jets) of Su-27M3 is meant to be deployed in Belarus. Being fighter jets, these machines are capable of carrying bombs, and are also able to hit land targets three times more efficiently than a basic Su-27 unit.
Aliaksandr Alesin points out that there is no acute necessity to deploy such jets in Belarus. He brings attention to the fact that the Su-27M3 jets are of greater capabilities for hitting land targets, and have a longer flight range of 1500 on one fill-in. “The deployment of these jets in Belarus is rather a signal to our neighbors in Poland and the Baltic States. For defense purposes they are redundant here, I think. Our air defense system is enough for this”, - Aliaksandr Alesin supposes.