Russian Air Force aircraft have been present in Syria since 2015.
Russia sent its military aircraft to Syria in 2015 to help the Syrian armed forces fight terrorism.
It was decided to make Basil al Assad Airport in Lattakia the headquarters for the Russian planes that arrived to Syria, which is one of the most fortified military bases in the world.
Russia sent to Syria at that time included about fifty Su-25, Su-24, Su-34, Su-30SM, Mi-24 and Mi-8A helicopters, MT Shi, and about ten tanker aircraft.
The Russian air group settled at the Hmeimim base.
And it took the development of this base to be able to accommodate the military aircraft that arrived from Russia and the Russian pilots.
Hence, hundreds of thousands of tons of necessary equipment were transported from Russia to Syria.
The expert, Victor Murakhovsky, who paid a working visit to the Hmeimim base, said that the airport that the Russian planes arrived at was without the necessary facilities, and it was constructed.
The take-off and landing corridor has undergone restorations, and it was expanded so that it could receive heavy aircraft.
Appropriate security measures have been taken to secure the Hmeimim base and protect it from attacks.
In order to protect against air attacks, the S-400, Tor-M2, and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems, Z-O-23 anti-aircraft guns and radar stations were brought in, capable of detecting all air targets.
According to the expert Murakhovsky, the air defense vehicles located at the Hmeimim base can destroy air targets at a distance between 20 km and 250 km.
The air targets that the air defense modes available in the Hmeimim base area are estimated to handle include small-sized drones and hand-made missiles.
There are Russian and Syrian soldiers who protect the Hmeimim base from ground attacks.
Drones also contribute to the efforts to secure the Hmeimim base, as about ten of them fly over Hmeimim continuously, 24 hours a day.
There is a direct line of communication between the commander of the Russian air group at the Hmeimim base and the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.
The commander of the Russian group can also contact representatives of the international coalition in Iraq in order to prevent incidents in Syria.
The materials necessary to equip the Hmeimim base were transported by sea and air within a few months, making the Hmeimim base one of the most fortified modern military installations in the world.
Today it can receive all types of aircraft, including Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic missile launchers.
Dozens of planes can be refueled at the same time.
According to experts’ estimates, the Hmeimim base is able to receive more aircraft and provide the necessary services for them.
The expert Murakhovsky said that the aircraft launched from the Hmeimim base made several sorties a day at the height of the war on terror, and there are caches for aircraft and warehouses containing aircraft fuel and ammunition.
The living conditions that were provided to the Russian military at the Hmeimim base can be described as comfortable, as there are amenities in their homes, which accommodate two or four people.
There are mobile bakeries, restaurants, bathrooms, laundries, and sports yards.
It can be said that the Hmeimim base turned from being a small airport five years ago to a real city with streets and squares.
The Syrian government recently decided to attach another plot of land to the Hmeimim base, to be used for humanitarian purposes.
It is expected that a clinic will be built on it.