16 April 2024, Tuesday, 20:24
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Ukrainian Pilot About ‘Plane Fall’’: This Is A Strong Blow To Russian Aviators

Ukrainian Pilot About ‘Plane Fall’’: This Is A Strong Blow To Russian Aviators

The Ukrainian Armed Forces could have carried out a risky action using the Patriot system.

Over the past three days, Ukrainian air defense has “grounded” as many as six Russian aircraft: four Su-34 fighter-bombers and two Su-35 fighters.

What is the reason for such success of the Ukrainian Air Force? Charter97.org website talked about this with Ukrainian pilot and military expert Oleksiy Melnik:

— This is not the first time that the Ukrainian Air Force has carried out such actions. Unfortunately, Ukraine does not have the opportunity to constantly use air defense systems that can reach Russian targets at great distances.

I call this action because there have already been several similar cases. The most sensational one was when several helicopters and planes were shot down at once in the Bryansk region.

Most likely, a complex operation was carried out using either Soviet-made S-200 systems, or it could have been a Patriot.

— Is it too close to the front line for the Patriot system?

— Based on the range at which these targets were destroyed, I emphasize that there are not many options. If we talk about the Patriot system, it consists of many components. It is quite possible that one of the launchers, taking deliberate risks, could have been brought quite close to the front line.

Target detection and guidance could be carried out from a greater range using other means. Thus, the Patriot installation could be used there with minimal risk. After that, it was urgently hidden and relocated so that the enemy would not destroy it.

I would like to note that I would not rule out the version put forward by the Russians themselves — about “friendly fire”. This is a fairly typical situation in conditions of intense hostilities.

— Will there be a psychological effect from these successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces? Will Russian pilots begin to be afraid?

— Indeed, this is one of the consequences. The first is the purely military expediency of such actions, despite the risk. But it’s worth it, because, most likely, with this Ukraine has achieved a temporary reduction in the intensity of bomb droppings.

Again, according to information that can be gleaned from Russian sources, they do not have many aircraft and crews that are already equipped to drop these bombs.

If these losses were from one military unit, then this is depressing news for the flight personnel. It is unlikely that they will refuse to complete tasks. In Russia there are many ways (primarily repressive) to stimulate them, but pilots will try to minimize risks and make changes to flight mission patterns.

Unlike Storm-Z, the flight crew is a fairly limited caste where such news spreads quickly. As a rule, we are not talking about “pilot A”, but they all know each other. In general, this is a strong blow to their moral and psychological state.

— Does the Russian Federation have many aircraft of this kind left?

— Unfortunately, yes. The data is approximate, but as of 2023, they had 140 Su34s, and up to 100 Su35s.

But this supply is not unlimited, and there is no data on how many of these aircraft are in service. I would like to note that the capabilities of the Russian aviation industry to quickly and significantly increase the production of aircraft equipment are limited. If they are having problems producing new tanks, then it is logical to assume that the loss of even six aircraft is quite painful for the enemy.

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