NewsUkrainian defense forces down $350 million Soviet early warning aircraft: second such event this year

Ukrainian defense forces down $350 million Soviet early warning aircraft: second such event this year

Air radar shot down. They are massacring Russian aviation.
Air radar shot down. They are massacring Russian aviation.
Images source: © TG
6:55 AM EST, February 24, 2024

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The Commander of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mykola Oleszczuk, declared the aircraft's downing. Ukrainian intelligence confirmed it, adding that the aircraft, priced at 350 million dollars, was brought down by a long-range anti-aircraft missile system, S-200.

Images of the wreckage online. Significant explosions

The incident took place over the Sea of Azov. "A sudden drop in speed and altitude of the A-50U aircraft was observed near the city of Yeisk," claimed the Ukrainian intelligence. The path of the plane's newer version was disclosed.

Videos of the burning remains of the aircraft have surfaced online.

The regional command authenticated that around 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) a plane crash occurred in the Trudovaya Armenia village area (Krasnodar Territory, Russia).

"Upon the arrival of the fire crews, it was determined that the plane and reeds were ablaze, covering an area of about 2,700 sq ft. There were no threats posed to residential buildings and thankfully, no fatalities among the villagers," we gleaned from the statement.

40 firefighters and 14 units of equipment were promptly dispatched to the scene.

As of now, the Russian Ministry of Defense hasn't issued a statement on the matter.

An additional video shows the A-50 crew deploying thermal lures designed to misdirect the missile aimed at them.

A Russian propaganda channel, boasting nearly a million followers, claimed that the perished crew members of the A-50 were "top-class professionals". "The loss of A-50 alone is significant - due to their complexity and advanced technological design, such planes are rare. They require utmost care," it stated.

The "eyes and ears" on the field: A-50

The A-50, a Soviet and Russian aircraft specializing in remote radar detection and control, is uniquely designed to identify and track air and naval targets and to coordinate air defense actions. Such aircraft are few and far between in Russia.

"The aggressor state used this aviation command post to locate long-range radars, and to direct them towards Ukraine using strategic aviation missiles," explained the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

This is the second similar occurrence this year. Earlier in January, a Beriev Ilyushin A-50 plummeted into the sea, while a heavy-duty bomber, a USSR-production II-22, managed to reach Anapa - a city in the Krasnodar Territory, despite substantial damage.

The purpose of a long-range radar aircraft is to oversee the airspace in which the air forces operate, identify targets, and guide and synchronize combat aircraft. Such an aircraft is a high-priority military target. "It is the 'eyes and ears' of an air group and its 'nerve center'," BBC describes.

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