Belarus is ready for mass production of Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during a meeting with Vladimir Putin.

The Su-25 had an excellent performance on the battlefield has been one of the main combat aircraft used by Russia during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The fact that Belarus wants to produce the Su-25 flying tank is a surprise to the international media.

Some analysts suggest the move could be related to Moscow’s plan to streamline Minsk’s defense industry capacities toward its war against Ukraine. Belarus’s involvement in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has pushed Minsk toward even closer military cooperation with Moscow. Among other weapons, Belarus has received S-400 air defense systems and Iskander missile systems from Russia.

According to reports, the Russian armed forces used about 200 Su-25s of various variants during the war in Ukraine. The type also suffered heavy losses during the invasion. It is estimated that Belarus operates about 67 Su-25s, which is the most popular combat aircraft in its fleet. According to the analysis, Russia “may commandeer Belarusian factories and retool them to produce critical materiel that the Russian military needs.”

Experts note that in the past 30 years, the Russian Federation has not developed an alternative to the Su-25, since the upgraded SM3 version fully meets the needs of the Aerospace Forces. The Su-25 is extremely durable, cheap to operate and performs well in the conflict in Ukraine or Syria, various variants have been used by both sides in the confrontation.

In addition, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Belarus will for the first time purchase airborne defense systems, which will be used on the Su-25, which once again confirms that the local army has certain hopes for this plane. Experts also recalled that in 2020 the head of the Georgian Ministry of Defense expressed readiness to establish its own production of Su-25s in the country, both for its own needs and for export.

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