Belarus is ready to start producing Sukhoi Su-25 attack aircraft, the country’s president Aleksandr Lukashenko said during his meeting with Vladimir Putin.
“As I was informed by the government, they are ready for the production of the Su-25 that is proving itself in Ukraine, an attack aircraft, a workhorse. We are even ready to produce them in Belarus if the Russian Federation provides a little bit of technological support,” Lukashenko is quoted as saying by Belarusian state news agency Belta.
He added that Belarus converted its aircraft repair factories to produce aircraft components.
“I should tell you that the Belarusians are already producing up to a thousand component parts for the MC-21 and Sukhoi Superjet 100. We have three factories: two military and one civilian. They used to be repair shops. Today they produce component parts,” Lukashenko said, as reported by Belta.
The Sukhoi Su-25 has been one of the main types of aircraft used by Russia during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
According to data from The Military Balance 2022 published by The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), at the end of 2021 Russian armed forces, including Russian Aerospace Forces, Russian Naval Aviation and other branches, used around 200 Su-25s of different modifications.
The type also suffered heavy losses during the invasion. According to Oryx blog, 25 Su-25s have been documented as destroyed or damaged beyond repair during the conflict, with the actual number likely to be higher.
Russia stopped producing the Su-25 in 2017 in favor of a plan to procure a new type of ground attack aircraft which appears to have been discontinued.
There have been no official statements on restarting the production of the aircraft by Russian officials. However, there were several announcements about newly established military units getting freshly modernized Su-25s that were, presumably, taken out of storage earlier.
Russia has also delivered at least several Su-25s to the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) and has been supplying them to Wagner private military company (PMC) for use in Ukraine.
In 2020 Georgia also announced a plan to start manufacturing the Su-25 at a plant where assembly of the aircraft had been conducted before the fall of the USSR.