Russia accidentally shot down a state-of-the-art aircraft in Ukraine

Russia’s anti-aircraft defenses, or Donbas separatists, shot down one of the most advanced fighter jets on the Ukrainian front.

Just one problem: it’s a Russian fighter jet. Specifically, he writes, a brand new Suhoi Su-34M fighter and bomber Forbes.

Russian war correspondent and propagandist Yevgeny Podupny captured Sunday’s incident in the occupied city of Alsevsk in eastern Ukraine.

“Last night, Allied air defense forces destroyed a target in the sky over the city of Alchevsk,” Podubny wrote on Monday.

“The nature of the goals was not clear. The ball fell on the ground for more than a minute,” he added.

 

A Video recording After capturing the wreckage, the plane’s identity was confirmed: a Su-34M with registration number RF-95890, one of about 10 aircraft that Sukhoi has so far delivered to the Russian Air Force.

Wreckage of downed plane. Photo: Twitter

In May 2020, the Kremlin signed a contract with United Aircraft Corporation’s Sukhoi division to build 76 Su-34M aircraft by 2027, at a cost of around $50 million per aircraft.

The 76 aircraft should be enough to equip two squadrons and replace the Russian Air Force’s latest Su-24 bombers. The first Su-34M entered service earlier this month.

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Russian state media confirmed that part of the 277th squadron was stationed near Ukraine.

The basic Su-34 borrows elements of the Su-27 fighter but adds a two-person cockpit. The Su-34 can carry 12 tons of bombs and missiles and hit targets at a distance of 960 km. The aircraft roughly resembles the US Air Force’s F-15E model.

RF-95890 is the 11th Su-34 lost by the Russians since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24. That’s almost a tenth of all Su-34s built by Sukhoi.

In total, Russia has lost at least 35 fixed-wing military aircraft in Ukraine, according to analysts at the Oryx blog, which uses open sources to track losses on both sides of the war. driver.

Forbes writes that the Su-34s should transform Russia’s air force, ushering in a new era of high-tech, high-precision bombing. Instead, they used the same imprecise bombs armed with older Russian planes.

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Lacking precision-guided munitions across the military, Russian aircraft fly at low altitudes and expose them to ground fire.

Russia’s anti-aircraft defenses are also a threat. Modern fighter jets carry special radio beacons that alert friendly air defenses of their presence. But they don’t always work.

However, it’s unclear what went wrong in Sunday’s incident, Forbes writes.

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