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Ukrainian Pilot Dispels Russian Myth Following A-50 Downing

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Ukrainian Pilot Dispels Russian Myth Following A-50 Downing
OLEKSIY MELNIK

The Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed the “craftwork”.

On January 14, the media reported that the Ukrainian military shot down a Russian A-50 aircraft over the Sea of Azov and knocked out an IL-22 air command post.

What could these planes be attacked with? The Charter97.org website spoke about this with the co-director of foreign policy and international security programs at the Razumkov Center, first assistant to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine (2005–2008), Ukrainian pilot and military expert Oleksiy Melnik:

— There are two versions so far. The first is that they could have been shot down using the Patriot system, that is, repeating the ambush that the Ukrainian Air Force had already successfully carried out at least twice. The second version is “friendly fire”.

— How would you assess the likelihood of the “friendly fire” version?

— It is absolutely probable, because such cases have been recorded more than once. Unfortunately, this is the reality of war. There are cases (they may not have been publicly known) when the same thing happened with our planes. In war conditions, this is, let’s say, a fairly typical situation. This is not only the Russian-Ukrainian war, such cases occurred in many conflicts, the expression “friendly fire” was not just invented.

In this situation, it is important to pay attention to the aspect that the A-50 aircraft has such a powerful electronic warfare system, such powerful locators, that the probability of being hit by either enemy or friendly fire should be zero. At least that's what the developers said. This incident demonstrated that all these claims about its invulnerability turned out to be just fairy tales, regardless of whether it was shot down by a Ukrainian missile or a Russian one.

— How serious is this loss for Russian aviation?

— This is a serious loss, because although this is not the last aircraft, it is a a sort of a craftwork. According to various information, Russia has about a dozen of these aircraft, our Air Force said that there are six A-50s and three more A-50Us, which is some kind of improved one by the abbreviation. There are not many such aircraft, plus its price is about 300 million dollars, plus the crew. If I'm not mistaken, there are more than 20 trained specialists on board who must be coordinated. This is quite a serious damage for Russia.

As for IL-22, this is also not the first case. In Syria, an air control post of local troops was shot down in the same way. The plane was shot down by Syrian air defense systems after an attack by the Israeli Air Force. It can be said with a high degree of probability that Russian specialists and so-called advisers were sitting there. So this is not the first time.

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