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Defense Express: It’s Easier for Ukrainian Forces To Shoot Down Russian Su-34 Than Su-35

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Defense Express: It’s Easier for Ukrainian Forces To Shoot Down Russian Su-34 Than Su-35

Experts explained why.

On Saturday, March 2, the Ukrainian military fired anti-aircraft missiles at two Russian aircraft, but only the Su-34 was shot down, while the Su-35 was able to evade. Defense Express analysts explained the reason.

Experts noted that anti-missile maneuvers are one of the basics of training tactical aviation pilots, but "none of them concerns attempts to evade by rolling." In addition, the manoeuvres may differ from which missile was fired, MANPADS or long-range from Patriot. It also depends on the course, range, mode, flight parameters of the aircraft and the weapon guidance system.

"In our case, we are talking about a conditional Patriot with a PAC-2/gem+ anti-aircraft missile, which launches at an altitude target at a range close to the maximum, which is defined within 150-160 km and a no-escape zone of about 110 km," the analysts noted.

Defense Express said that the guidance system of this missile is a radio command on the marching section, while on the terminal — with the clarification of the coordinates of the target through the semi-active Track-via-missile warhead (TVM). As a result, the on-board equipment of any combat aircraft will record first the work of the Patriot radar, and then the transition of the radar from the tracking mode to the shooting mode, that is, the countdown is already in seconds.

After that, the pilot makes an anti-aircraft maneuver, the simplest is when the board is at altitude and cruising speed, you need to dive down while leaving at maximum speed and breaking the distance in afterburner modes. In such a situation, we are talking about seconds and much may depend on the aircraft itself, its maneuverability and the permitted overload. For the Su-35 it is about 9G, and for the Su-34 — 7G.

In particular, the Su-34 fighter is about four tons heavier than the Su-35 and has a lower thrust-weight ratio. Also, before maneuvering, the Su-34 must drop Managed Planning and Correction Module bombs, causing additional restrictions on maneuvering. Therefore, the Su-34 is less likely to get out of the blow than the Su-35.

In February, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down 11 Su-34 fighters, two Su-35 fighters and an A-50 AWACS aircraft.

Recall that on the morning of March 1, in the eastern direction, the Ukrainian military destroyed the Russian Su-34 fighter bomber. The Air Force said that the enemy aircraft was destroyed during its attempt to strike the Ukrainian positions with guided bombs.

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