More
    HomeMilitaryUkrainian Air Defense Unleashes Devastating Blow to Russian Air Superiority

    Ukrainian Air Defense Unleashes Devastating Blow to Russian Air Superiority

    Published on

    spot_img
    Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on  Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy in Moscow, Russia
    Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy in Moscow, Russia

    Ukraine’s skies have become a perilous battlefield where even Russia’s most sophisticated aircraft are not immune to the lethal precision of Ukrainian missile systems.

    Within three days before February 2024, an astonishing three-day period, Ukrainian forces downed six of Russia’s top fighter jets, casting a shadow over the invader’s once-vaunted air superiority.

    Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on  Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy in Moscow, Russia
    Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy in Moscow, Russia

    The Russian Air Force’s operational fleet, although vast and diverse, appears to be dwindling in effectiveness against an embattled yet fiercely resilient Ukrainian defense.

    Moscow Russia Zhukovsky Airfield 31 August 2019: aerobatic Su-35 perfoming demonstration flight of the international aerospace salon MAKS-2019.
    Moscow Russia Zhukovsky Airfield 31 August 2019: aerobatic Su-35 perfoming demonstration flight of the international aerospace salon MAKS-2019.

    The downed aircraft include four Su-34 fighter-bombers and two Su-35 air-superiority fighters, both of which are among the best in the Russian arsenal for their respective roles.

    ZHUKOVSKY, RUSSIA - AUGUST 30, 2019: Four Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets of the Russian Air Force at the MAKS-2019 air show.
    ZHUKOVSKY, RUSSIA – AUGUST 30, 2019: Four Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets of the Russian Air Force at the MAKS-2019 air show.

    Designed for supersonic strike capability and bristling with precision-guided munitions, the Su-34 is Russia’s go-to platform for close-air-support missions.

    Russian Knights demonstration flights. Russia, Moscow, airport Zhukovsky. July 22, 2017
    Russian Knights demonstration flights. Russia, Moscow, airport Zhukovsky. July 22, 2017

    The Su-35, on the other hand, is an upgraded version of the Su-27, boasting enhanced maneuverability and sophisticated avionics.

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 3,2019: Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on  Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy
    MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 3,2019: Sukhoi SU-35 flying over Red Square on Victory Day airshow Den Pobedy

    However, despite their capabilities, these aircraft have not been immune to Ukraine’s tactical prowess and missile accuracy.

    Russian Air Force jet Su-35. Russia. Moscow August 2015.
    Russian Air Force jet Su-35. Russia. Moscow August 2015.

    Ukraine’s utilization of U.S.-made Patriot air-defense missiles has been notably judicious and devastatingly effective.

    Istanbul, Turkey - September-18,2019: Teknofest 2019 air shows Russian Su-35 aircraft close-up.
    Istanbul, Turkey – September-18,2019: Teknofest 2019 air shows Russian Su-35 aircraft close-up.

    Despite being short on these advanced munitions, Ukrainian forces have optimized their use, targeting Russian aircraft with a near-perfect kill rate that the Kremlin’s air force can ill-afford to sustain.

    Russia, Engels - march,2021: Russian anti-aircraft missile system C 300.
    Russia, Engels – march,2021: Russian anti-aircraft missile system C 300.

    The Ukrainian Defense Ministry proudly announced, “Russian planes continue to fall!” – a declaration that underscores a David versus Goliath dynamic in the conflict.

    Anti aircraft air force missiles. Patriotism and remembrance. Victory day in Baku - Azerbaijan: 10 December 2020.
    Anti aircraft air force missiles. Patriotism and remembrance. Victory day in Baku – Azerbaijan: 10 December 2020.

    The losses of these aircraft come at a critical juncture for Russia. According to independent assessments, the Russian Air Force has lost a significant portion of its Su-34 and Su-35 fleet since the conflict began.

    Dnipro, Ukraine - July 13, 2021: Open air Museum Missile Park or Rocket Park and at same time patriotic headquarters of the surrender resistance movement. Dnipro is Ukraine's fourth-largest city.
    Dnipro, Ukraine – July 13, 2021: Open air Museum Missile Park or Rocket Park and at same time patriotic headquarters of the surrender resistance movement. Dnipro is Ukraine’s fourth-largest city.

    Analysts argue that sustaining such a rate of attrition would be disastrous for an air force with an already stretched-thin cadre of experienced pilots.

    Anti aircraft air force missiles. Patriotism and remembrance. Victory day in Baku - Azerbaijan: 10 December 2020.
    Anti aircraft air force missiles. Patriotism and remembrance. Victory day in Baku – Azerbaijan: 10 December 2020.

    As one report from the Royal United Services Institute in London puts it, Russian air operations “are constrained by the availability of pilots with sufficient experience to carry out key missions.”

    Istanbul, Turkey - September-18,2019: Teknofest 2019 air shows Russian Su-35 aircraft close-up.
    Istanbul, Turkey – September-18,2019: Teknofest 2019 air shows Russian Su-35 aircraft close-up.

    However, the seemingly unstoppable string of successes for Ukrainian air defense may not continue indefinitely.

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 7, 2021: Avia parade in Moscow. group jet fighter aircraft MiG-35 and Su-30 in the sky on parade of Victory in World War II in Moscow, Russia
    MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 7, 2021: Avia parade in Moscow. group jet fighter aircraft MiG-35 and Su-30 in the sky on parade of Victory in World War II in Moscow, Russia

    Political shifts and the blockade of aid could threaten Ukraine’s missile stocks, which are nearing a “critical level.” This shortage might ultimately taper off the rate at which Ukraine can continue shooting down Russian warplanes.

    Relevant articles:
    Ranked: The Russian Air Force’s Best and Worst Warplanes, The National Interest
    Sukhoi Massacre: Ukraine Has Shot Down Six Of Russia’s Best Jets In Just Three Days, forbes.com
    The Top 5 Fighter Jets Used By The Russian Air Force, Simple Flying

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...