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It Fell Near Farmstead: New Details Of Russian Tu-22M3 Destruction

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It Fell Near Farmstead: New Details Of Russian Tu-22M3 Destruction

The Head of the Defense Intelligence made an intriguing statement.

On the night of April 18-19, anti-aircraft missile units of the Ukrainian Air Force, together with the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, for the first time during the full-scale invasion of Russian occupation forces on the territory of Ukraine, destroyed a Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber, which carries Kh-22 type cruise missiles.

Focus has collected all the information about this unique case.

At 7:23 am, the Russian publication Baza published photographs of the downed aircraft and reported that in the Stavropol Territory, on the territory of the Krasnogvardeisk District, a Russian Air Force plane fell to the ground during a flight. In the morning, Baza referred to the words of the head of this region, Vladimir Vladimirov, who said that the pilots had ejected.

The publication initially did not specify which plane was shot down, but at 7:45 it published a video of the plane crash, as well as additional information about the incident.

“The Tu22M3 plane crashed near the Bogomolov village in the Stavropol Territory. There were four pilots on the board of the crashed plane,” wrote Baza.

The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber crashed in the Stavropol region. The Russian department clarified that it was returning from a combat mission, and the cause of the crash was stated to be a technical malfunction of the aircraft.

However, at about 9 am, Focus’s own sources in the special services reported that the Tu-22M3 strategic bomber was attacked from the S-200 air defense system 300 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

“This is the first strategic aircraft that Ukraine managed to destroy during a flight. It had attacked Ukraine,” said Focus’ interlocutor.

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force Mykola Oleshchuk confirmed the destruction of the Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber. According to him, the liquidation of the plane took place in cooperation with the Defense Intelligence.

The commander also said that for the first time the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to shoot down Kh-22 cruise missiles.

Russian media began publishing other videos of the plane crash, and regional governor Vladimir Vladimirov said that one of the crew members had died.

Closer to 11 am, Air Force spokesman Ilya Yevlash said that the downing of a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber 300 kilometers from the border with Ukraine was retaliation for an attack on Ukrainian cities.

According to him, today's downing is the first time that the Air Force, together with the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine and other structures of the defense forces, were able to destroy a Tu-22M3 strategic aviation aircraft. In addition, two Kh-22 supersonic cruise missiles launched by this aircraft were also shot down for the first time.

What is known about the Tu-22M3 Aircraft

Tu-22M is a Soviet long-range supersonic missile-carrying bomber with variable wing geometry. Designed to destroy sea and ground targets with cruise missiles, aerial bombs, in particular nuclear warheads.

The Tu-22M3 made its first flight on June 20, 1977.

The cost of the Tu-22M3 aircraft is about $300 million. It went into serial production in 1978 at the Kazan Aviation Plant named after Gorbunov. They stopped building aircraft of this class in 1993. A total of 268 bombers were built.

It is not known exactly how many serviceable Tu-22M3s are in service with the Russian Armed Forces, but they are based at the Olenya, Shaikovka, Belaya and Dyagilevo airfields.

The bomber's main armament is the Kh-22N anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile with a lightweight high-explosive cumulative warhead capable of making a hole in a ship 22 square meters and 12 meters deep.

At the same time, the Defense Intelligence showed how they prepared for the destruction of the Tu-22M3 bomber.

Later, Focus published a material in which it described in detail how they managed to shoot down the plane. In particular, sources reported that the operation was prepared for more than a week, waiting for the right moment to hit the bomber. After a successful strike, another plane flying behind the Tu-22M3 was forced to turn around.

“The S-200 long-range missile showed its work. The fact that two expensive and functional Russian aircraft have already been shot down is a serious achievement of Ukrainian air defense units. It is necessary to use the S-200 in other places, because the effect of surprise works great,” former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, retired Lieutenant General Ihor Romanenko told Focus.

Towards the evening, an official reaction appeared from Head of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Kirylo Budanov, who said that this time Ukraine used what it had made from scratch from old components.

“Some things have been modernized. The engineers did a good job, believe me,” Budanov noted.

The Head of Defense Intelligence did not name the means of destruction, but he noted that the Tu-22M3 was shot down by the same means that were used to destroy the A-50 in the air.

As of April 20, 2024, it is known that one of the three pilots was found dead. The search for the fourth pilot continues. At least that's what Russian authorities report. However, according to Hennadii Derykaptan, a researcher at the Poltava Museum of Heavy Bomber Aviation, the plane is equipped with a KT-1M ejection seat, which was developed by the Tupolev design bureau and is considered not very reliable.

“During an ejection, a compression fracture of the spine may occur upon impact. There is a complex system, many stabilizing parachutes…” the expert said.

Derykaptan said that even if the pilots who ejected survived, it is not certain that they will be able to fly again.

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