The division of the naval aircraft of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has been reinforced with a squadron of SU-30SM fighter jets as well as modern unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) systems, as reported by RIA Novosti citing Black Sea Fleet Spokesperson Vyacheslav Trukhachev.
"The rearmament of the Black Sea Fleet naval air fleet began in 2014. The integration of an independent maritime Assault Aviation Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet, which is equipped with the latest multi-purpose the SU-30SM fighter jets as well as UAV systems has been completed,” Trukhachev said.
He noted that in 2016, the pilots of Naval aircraft in the Russian Black Sea Fleet conducted 224 flights and completed more than 3,600 combat exercises.
"Today, the Day of the Black Sea Fleet is being celebrated. Celebrations were held in Sevastopol, on an avenue named after Black Sea pilot Major-General Nikolai Ostriakov. A meeting was held at the monument to Black Sea pilots, which was attended by members of the Military Council of the Black Sea Fleet, Black Sea Fleet Air Force Commanders from different periods, aviation veterans, and clergy," said the spokesperson.
Last fall, it was reported that the naval aircraft of the Russian Black Sea Fleet had been strengthened with modern SU-30SM fighter aircraft.
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.