We’re getting close to the release of Hobby Master’s first-ever Sukhoi Su-35S Super Flanker (HA5701), a warbird clad in a garish yet functional camouflage scheme that makes the aircraft stand out a bit more in test bed flights, particularly when flown low to awe the crowds and gauge its prowess in high speed maneuvers. That said, we are of the opinion that the second scheme chosen for this elite generation 4+ fighter will likely do the warbird proud since it represents a scheme currently seen over the skies of Syria and built from the ground up to fight at altitude.
“Red 6”, as it is known, is a Super Flanker Multirole fighter that was originally attached to the Russian Air Force’s 23rd Fighter Aviation Regiment, 303rd Guards Composite Air Division, 11th Air and Air Defence Forces Army, but now deployed to Khmeimim Air Base, Latakia, Syria.
Khmeimim air base was built in mid-2015 adjacent to the Bassel Al-Assad International Airport to serve as “the strategic center of Russia’s military operation against Islamic State”. The existence of the Russian strategic base was revealed by the United States in early September and American officials expressed concern over the possibility of escalation of the conflict in Syria. The airbase became operational on September 30th, 2015.
During September 2015, the air base came under rocket attack by local Syrian rebels apparently using Grad missiles.
At the end of September 2015, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said that the kind of military infrastructure that Russia had installed in Syria, which included anti-aircraft defense systems, was a de facto no-fly zone: “As we see the very capable air defense (systems) beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2-AD (anti-access/area denial) bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean.” (Russia’s third denial zone around Europe)
The Su-24 shoot-down by Turkish fighters on November 24th, 2015, was reported to be when the Russian jet was on its way to return to Khmeimim.
The military Tu-154 that crashed with loss of 92 lives on December 25th, 2016, was on a flight from Sochi to Khmeimim.
Look for “Red 6” to appear over the skies of the diecast community this December.