MOSCOW, January 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will deploy four additional Su-25 ground attack aircraft at the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan in 2014, Russia’s Central Military District said Monday.
“A unit of modernized Su-25SM Frogfoot fighter-bombers will be deployed this year at the Russian airbase in Kyrgyzstan,” the district said in a statement.
The deployment has been ordered by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the statement said.
According to the statement, the upgraded SU-25SM aircraft are equipped with advanced fire-control and navigation systems, the Pastel countermeasures suite. They can carry an expanded range of weaponry compared with the base Su-25 model.
A Russian airbase in Kant, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside the capital Bishkek, was established in October 2003 and operates in the interests of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-led regional security body.
The base currently hosts at least eight Su-25 planes and two Mi-8 combat transport helicopters, as well as over 400 service personnel, according to the Russian military.
Moscow and Bishkek signed an agreement in September last year to extend the use of the Kant airbase and other Russian military facilities in Kyrgyzstan until at least 2032, with possible five-year extensions.