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    Resilience in the Sky: Exploring the Su-25 Frogfoot’s Role and Challenges

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    Su-25” by Rob Schleiffert is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Russia’s Su-25 Frogfoot has been a mainstay in the world of military aviation for decades. Known by NATO as the “Frogfoot,” this Soviet-era jet has been compared to the American A-10 Warthog, both crafted for tank-busting and close air support roles.

    Sukhoi Su-25 of the Russian Air Force landing at Vladivostok (8683076150)” by Fedor Leukhin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Despite the Su-25’s lighter and faster design, the aircraft has faced challenges and setbacks, particularly in recent years during the conflict in Ukraine.

    VVS – Su-25 – 301_Blue [Khodinka 8.94]” by Chaika12 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The Su-25 was born out of a 1960s Soviet Air Force competition to secure a next-generation close-support airframe. The Sukhoi T-8 prototype emerged victorious, later evolving into the Su-25.

    Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt Warthog” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    This was the Soviet’s response to America’s A-10 Thunderbolt II, an advanced airframe designed to provide close air support. The Su-25 made its first flight in the early 1970s and completed its certification trials within five years.

    Su-25 Brandis” by Rob Schleiffert is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Fitted with two R-95Sh non-afterburning turbojets, the Su-25 boasts a range of distinctive features. It includes a rangefinder and a DISS-7 doppler radar for night flight capabilities.

    Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ’09 blue’” by Support your local Air Museum! (HawkeyeUK) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    It also has an electronic warfare suite consisting of a Gardeniya radar jammer and an SPO-15 Sirena-3 radar warning receiver. The Frogfoot is capable of carrying a wide array of weapons, including Kh-23, Kh-25ML, and R-3D missiles, along with a formidable 30m AO-17A twin-barrel gun.

    Sukhoi Su-25 ’66 red’” by HawkeyeUK – Support your local Air Museum! is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Despite its advanced capabilities, the Su-25 has faced significant challenges in combat. During the Soviet-Afghan War, the American-made Stinger missiles supplied to Afghan fighters proved deadly against the Frogfoot.

    Sukhoi SU-25 Frogfoot (FROGS FOOT) nicknamed ‘Grach’ (Su-25sm)” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The Su-25 has also seen action in the Iran-Iraq War and the Abkhazia War, highlighting its vulnerability to shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMS).

    File:Russian Sukhoi Su-25 at Latakia (2).jpg” by Mil.ru is licensed under CC BY 4.0

    In the present day, the Russian Air Force operates roughly 250 Su-25s in various configurations. The Frogfoot has been involved in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and reports have indicated that this venerable aircraft has suffered the most losses over the last two years.

    Sukhoi Su-34 ‘Fullback’” by Pavel Vanka is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Russian state media confirmed last year that Su-25 and Su-34 fighter jets often work in tandem during combat operations, with the Su-34s providing cover for the low-altitude attack missions of the Su-25s.

    File:Sukhoi Su-25 of Ukrainian Air Force.jpeg” by Skywarrior is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    Despite the setbacks, Moscow continues to rely on the Su-25, highlighting the airframe’s resilience and the Russian military’s dependence on its aging aviation assets.

    Sukhoi Su-25SM Frogfoot ‘RF-93050 / 21 red’ & ‘RF-93052 / 25 red’” by HawkeyeUK – Lest We Forget is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many former Eastern Bloc nations inherited Su-25 regiments, and the aircraft has also been exported to air forces in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

    33 blue Sukhoi SU-25 Frogfoot Azerbaijan Air Force Konya AFB 30.6.22” by Colin Cooke Photo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    While the Su-25’s war record may not be described as stellar, its widespread use and continued presence in the skies demonstrate a certain rugged endurance that is emblematic of military aviation history.

    Sukhoi Su-25 & modifications” by Dmitry Terekhov is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    In conclusion, the Su-25 Frogfoot’s journey from a Cold War-era innovation to a modern combatant has been fraught with challenges. Yet, it remains a significant piece of the tapestry that is the history of military aviation, continuing to serve despite the odds.

    Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt Warthog” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The Frogfoot’s story is far from over, as it adapts and survives in an era of sophisticated aerial threats and combat strategies.

    Relevant articles:
    Su-25 Frogfoot: Russia’s Flying Tank Has Something The A-10 Can’t Match, The National Interest
    Su-25 Frogfoot ‘Flying Tank’: Russia Has Its Own Version of the A-10 Warthog, The National Interest

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