Did Russia’s Su-35S Fighter Just Get Another Kill Over Ukraine? Su-24 Shot Down Near Belarusian Border

On March 30 it was reported that a Ukrainian Air Force Su-24 strike fighter was shot down in air to air combat near the country’s northern border with Belarus. This comes as the latest of many reported losses of the type in the air, which amount to more than half of all Su-24s Ukraine fielded before hostilities with Russian broke out on February 24. 

The location of the aircraft and the fact that it was brought down by a Russian fighter indicates that Russian Air Force Su-35S heavyweight air superiority fighters may have been responsible, with the class having been based in Belarus since January after being redeployed from the Russian Far East and playing a central role in the air campaign over Ukraine. 

The fighters are located at the Baranovichi Airfield of the 61st fighter aviation base in the west of Belarus. Su-35s were previously considered highly likely to have been responsible for the shootdowns of four Ukrainian Su-27 air superiority fighters over Western Ukraine on March 5, with units based in Belarus also considered likely to have carried out the mission. As Russia’s most capable fighter in air to air combat, other than the Su-57 which is not yet fielded at squadron level strength despite its limited operations over Ukraine, the Su-35 was expected to be deployed against the elite of the Ukrainian fleet comprised mainly of Su-27s - but also to defend against airstrikes by neutralising targets such as Su-24s. 

The Su-35 entered service from 2014, and over 100 are now in service in the Russian Air Force. The fighter is considered a ‘4++ generation’ aircraft with advanced features including a supercruise capability, the access to 400km range Mach 6 air to air missiles, three dimensional thrust vectoring for extreme manoeuvrability, and a reduced radar cross section under one third that of similarly sized aircraft such as the Su-27 or F-15. 

Particularly useful for the campaign over Ukraine are the fighters’ high level of situational awareness and advanced electronic attack capabilities, which are provided by the Irbis-E radar, two AESA radars embedded in its wings, and the Khibny-M electronic warfare suite. Deployment of more Su-35s near Russia’s western borders was seen as much as a show of force aimed at NATO as it was a preparation for possible military action in Ukraine, with the fighter set to enter service in greater numbers than previously projected due to both delays in the Su-57 program and to renewed tensions with the West. 

Download The Love Hypothesis PDF Download by Ali Hazelwood

Post a Comment

If you have any doubt comment me.

Previous Post Next Post