Russia’s airbase in Syria is to undergo a “significant upgrade” according to the Head of the Russian Federation Council’s defense community, Viktor Ozerov.
The Hmeymim military airbase is located south of the Syrian city of Lattakia and is Russia’s center of strategic operations against the self-proclaimed Islamic State and other militant organisations.
According to Ozerov, the Russian airforce group stationed at the airport is to create new infrastructure aimed at unlimited use. The Russian senator said:
We came to Syria for the long haul. Therefore infrastructure improvement both at the airport and in the area of its deployment as a whole.”
According to Ozerov, the most likely outcome of upgrades to the airbase is “at least” a second runway due to the high intensity of activity as a result of operations launched from the airport.
But modernization will concern not only the runway and airfield equipment, but also to improve the radio and starting positions of forces and air defense systems, development of residential and technical areas of water and sanitation, expand the exclusion zone and the engineering equipment adjacent to the airfield’s territory.”
Ozerov did not rule out the possibility that upgrades at the airbase would affect the location of the S-400 air defense weapons system.