Russia flexed its military muscle on Monday by testing its new Su-30SM multi-purpose fighter aircraft over Crimea, the hotly disputed former region of Ukraine according to Russian news sources.
The Su-30SM, which is part of the Black Sea Fleet, is capable of operating as a traditional fighter jet, but it can also operate more like a bomber, which gives the SU-30SM great versatility.
Nikolay Voskresenskiy, a spokesperson for the Black Sea Fleet, said that the planes practiced bombing runs against targets on the ground in Crimea, and added that the planes “repelled a naval attack by a designated opponent.” (RELATED: NATO Intercepts Russian Fighters Over Baltic Sea)
The SU-30SM, first tested back in 2012, is one of the key pieces in Russia’s modernization of its military forces. The Black Sea and the Arctic are both key points of interest for Russia’s military modernization. (RELATED: Is Russia Trying To Annex The North Pole?)
Crimea is a disputed territory that Russia claims ownership of following annexation from Ukraine.
The practice bombing raids come at the same time as military drills ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.