TechUkrainian air defence claims six Russian aircraft downed in three days: Shift in occupation Audacity noticed

Ukrainian air defence claims six Russian aircraft downed in three days: Shift in occupation Audacity noticed

Su-34 - illustrative photo
Su-34 - illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons
12:28 PM EST, February 20, 2024

"From our experience, after downing and destroying Russian aircraft, the occupiers hesitate to approach us - this takes place in the frontline area in the north, south, and east," conveyed Jurij Ihnat, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman. He added that the Russians understand they are within the scope of Ukrainian air defence and "are less audacious than they were previously".

Continuation of Russian aviation mishaps

Over the course of three days (from February 16 to 18 ET), Ukrainians stated they eliminated about six aircraft associated with Russian tactical aviation. These allegedly included Su-35 fighters and Su-34 bombers. Emerging reports state that the Patriot ground-to-air missile system played a crucial role in the attacks.

The Su-34 (NATO code Fullback) is a Russian multi-purpose fighter-bomber capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons. As previously highlighted, the Su-34 is a derivative of the Su-27 fighter aircraft, mainly noticeable in its structure. Components like the basic layout of the Su-27 aircraft, wing structure, engines, most of the wing assembly, tail, and a significant portion of the onboard equipment were retained in the Su-34. Nevertheless, modifications were made to the fuselage (including the aircraft’s nose) and cockpit. The Su-34 measures over 75 feet long, has a wingspan of approximately 48 feet and a height of around 20 feet. It weighs a little over 39,000 lbs, and the takeoff weight is approximately 84,000 lbs.

This machine can reach a peak speed of around 1181 mph and fly at a maximum altitude of approximately 55,776 ft. The 30 mm calibre GSz-30-1 aircraft cannon is the primary weapon on Su-34. It has 12 weapon stations, enabling it to bear loads of a wide range of weapons, including air-to-air, air-to-ground, anti-ship missiles, guided bombs, or free-falling bombs. The Su-35 is one of the most modern mass-produced fighters from Russia.

Łukasz Michalik, a WP Tech journalist, mentioned that the Su-35 was envisioned to bridge the technology gap between older machines and the future fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft. The Su-35 has a maximum takeoff weight of about 76.1 tons (its maximum load is around 8.8 tons) and can accelerate up to 1553 mph. It has an operational range of 932–2796 miles. The machine is approximately 72 feet long with a wingspan of just over 49 feet. It has a single-pilot configuration.

On the Su-35, Russians have implemented systems such as the N035 Irbis-E radar and an electronic warfare system, the OLS-35 optoelectronic sight, and a self-defence set with the OAR station. These attributes allow it to carry a complete range of Russian aviation weapons. The fighter is also equipped with a 30mm calibre cannon.

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