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What did Ukraine use to shoot down 13 russian aircraft in two weeks and how many of them did the enemy have left?

What did Ukraine use to shoot down 13 russian aircraft in two weeks and how many of them did the enemy have left?

The russian army has recently lost a significant number of combat aircraft to the war against Ukraine. Find out by what means it may have been hit

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In less than two weeks, the Ukrainian Air Force managed to destroy 13 russian warplanes, including a long-range radar detection and control aircraft, fighters and bombers. Here’s how the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to shoot down the air targets and how many other “birds” the russian army has.

The timeline of aircraft destruction

If we compare January and February, it is obvious that the number of downed russian army aircraft increased rapidly in the last month of winter, although the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ January catch was also good: an A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an IL-22 flying command post. In addition, the russian authorities accused Ukraine of shooting down an IL-76 military transport aircraft near Belgorod on 24 January.

Already in February, from 17 to 29 February, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy 13 aircraft:

💥17 February – two Su-34 and one Su-35;

💥18 February – one Su-34;

💥19 February – one Su-34 and one Su-35S;

💥21 February – one Su-34;

💥23 February – one A-50 UAV;

💥27 February – two Su-34;

💥29 February – three Su-34.

Thus, in two weeks, russia’s losses in military aviation totalled 13 aircraft of various types, of which 10 were Su-34 bombers, which are declared to be the 4th generation aircraft. In total, as of 29 February, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the loss of 345 military aircraft.

It is the Su-34 aircraft that the occupiers use to launch strikes with aerial bombs on the frontline regions. 

How could Ukraine have shot them down? 

It is worth noting that Ukraine is known to be armed with a number of air defence systems that could, in theory, destroy russian aircraft over the occupied territory of Ukraine. For example, the US Patriot system, according to open data, is capable of destroying fighter jets at a distance of 130 km. The Ukrainian Air Force also has at least one SAMP/T air defence system that can shoot down aircraft at a distance of 100 km.

However, after the A-50 crashed over Krasnodar Krai on 23 February, the media reported, citing the DIU, that the aircraft was hit by a converted Soviet S-200 system.

At the same time, a senior researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI) said that the increased number of russian aircraft allegedly shot down recently shows that “Ukraine has become more aggressive, risking Patriot launchers near the front line to damage russian aircraft.

It should be noted that such a risk on the part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is highly justified, as the large number of destroyed aircraft – Su-34s – constantly give the Ukrainian army nightmares with bombs on the front line, which creates problems for the Ukrainian army.

The Air Force of Ukraine also tried to answer the question of how russian aircraft are shot down. As spokesman Yuriy Ignet told a TV channel, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have acquired tools capable of reaching russian aircraft at long distances. “It is clear which systems can do this,” he added.

Ihnat also said that the massive “aircraft fall” had affected the russians and pushed enemy aircraft away from the front line.

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How many aircraft do the russians have left?

Of course, the exact number of russian combat aircraft is unknown, but analysing open sources and statements by the russians themselves, we can conclude that the occupiers produced a total of 143 Su-34 aircraft by 2016. During the full-scale war, about 40 bombers were destroyed, so there may be 103 in total.

It should also be borne in mind that the occupiers are trying to replenish their losses. For example, the Ukrainian Air Force believes that russia is capable of producing only up to three Su-34s per year, while russia currently has dozens of these aircraft in service.

However, it is worth noting that it is almost impossible to determine the exact number, as this information is classified by the occupiers and can only be accessed by Ukrainian intelligence officers.

In addition, the occupiers continue to produce Su-35 fighters. Since the beginning of the invasion, russia has lost more than 10 of these aircraft, but, according to experts, it has managed to produce about 15 units.

But the number of long-range radar detection and control aircraft in russia can be counted on one hand. According to Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat, the occupiers have less than 8 of them left. At the same time, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine says that the russians have only six such aircraft.

We remind you! Europe does not rule out the possibility that Western troops could be deployed to Ukraine. Several countries may have such intentions. For what purposes the West may take this step and what Zelenskyy says about it, we will tell you here.

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