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MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Russian military transport aircraft made more than 280 sorties in Syria last year, Defense Ministry’s spokesman for Aerospace Defense Forces Colonel Igor Klimov told TASS on Saturday.
"Crews of Il-76 and An-124 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft made more than 280 sorties and transported 13,750 tons of cargoes in the framework of preparing infrastructure at the Hmeimim airbase on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," Klimov said adding that Military Transport Aviation (MTA) became the best command in Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces last year.
According to the spokesman, average flight hours of a military transport aviation’s crew commander stood at more than 170, while for young pilots the number exceeded 200 hours on average. Total flight hours of the Military Transport Aviation stood at more than 50,000 hours.
Russia’s Military Transport Aviation participated in all military snap checks last year, Tsentr-2015 strategic exercise, and all drills held at the Aerospace Defense Forces. MTA crews also took part in the Aviadarts-2015 competition in the framework of the International Army Games, Klimov reminded.
"Military Transport Aviation crews have also for the first time landed at an Arctic airdrome. Pilots delivered a cargo to a seasonal airdrome with snow cover on the Alexandra Land island in Franz Josef Land archipelago," the colonel noted.
Klimov said that last year the MTA aviation center for the first time received a new Il-76MD-90A military transport aircraft adding that new aircraft of this type will be delivered this year.