TechUkraine faces severe air force losses in costly Russian strike

Ukraine faces severe air force losses in costly Russian strike

Myrhorod Air Base
Myrhorod Air Base
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu

6:54 PM EDT, July 2, 2024

An attack carried out by the Russian Federation army on Monday, July 1, resulted in the Ukrainians losing at least two Su-27 fighter jets. However, this is not the end of the losses suffered by the defenders at the Myrhorod airport (in the Poltava region), located about 90 miles from the front line.

The Monday attack conducted by Russian forces will significantly impact the condition of the Ukrainian Air Force. According to Forbes, the Russian Federation had identified at least six supersonic Su-27 fighter jets parked in the open at the Myrhorod airbase.

The effects of the aerial survey did not take long to materialize. The Russian army launched an Iskander missile towards the airport, hitting the designated target. The Ukrainian losses proved significant, as the Russians destroyed two Su-27 jets during the shelling, while four others were damaged.

Forbes notes that the attack on July 1 could be "one of the costliest days for the Ukrainian Air Force since the beginning of the Russian invasion." As we read, the Ukrainian Air Force had about 125 Su-27, Su-25, MiG-29, and other aircraft before the war began. According to the Oryx group's findings, Ukrainians lost at least 90 machines during 28 months of frontline fighting. "These losses are unaffordable,"—writes Forbes, reminding that American F-16 fighter jets, which Russian artillerymen and drone pilots will undoubtedly target, are expected to arrive in Kyiv soon.

Ukrainians lost valuable aircraft

The Su-27 interceptors are among the better machines currently available to the Ukrainians and are also present in the Russian Federation's arsenal. Although the airframe dates back to the 1970s and has been mass-produced since 1980, it still provides significant support to air forces, allowing them to gain air superiority.

Two Saturn Lyulka AL-31F turbofan engines provide the thrust of this interceptor. Each generates over 17,000 lbs or 27,500 lbs with an afterburner. Thanks to this, the Su-27 can accelerate to a maximum speed of about Mach 1.3 (840 mph) at sea level and even Mach 2.3 (1,520 mph) at high altitudes, where its maximum ceiling reaches 57,000 feet.

The armament this nearly 36,000 lb aircraft can carry is also significant. It has 10 hardpoints for a total payload of 13,000 lb. Various guided missile rockets (e.g., from the R-27, R-73, or R-60 families) can be mounted under the fighter. A single standard GSh-31-1 30 mm aircraft gun is the primary tool for conducting fire. The maximum range of a fully fueled Su-27 exceeds 2,300 miles.

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