TechUkrainian forces reportedly damage Russian A-50 aircraft in Taganrog

Ukrainian forces reportedly damage Russian A‑50 aircraft in Taganrog

A-50 - overview picture
A-50 - overview picture
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons
5:37 AM EDT, March 11, 2024

Analysts from the Frontelligence Insight group have released a satellite image that depicts the Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex (TANTK), named after G.R. Beriev, in Taganrog. This image captures the aftermath of an attack on March 9, highlighting the significant damage to a hangar. This facility is important because it is where A-50 airplanes undergo modernization and repair, among other activities.

Ukrainians target A-50 aircraft

Defense Express has analyzed satellite photos that reveal signs of drone warhead detonations on the roof of what is believed to be the final assembly plant. It's suspected that this specific location was where Russians might have been conducting repairs on an A-50 aircraft, which was likely inside the building during the attack.

To support the theory that an A-50 was hidden in the hangar, satellite images taken nearly two weeks prior are cited. In one image from February 29, an A-50 can be seen near the hangar. This aircraft, possibly damaged in the Minsk region days prior and hit by two drones, could fly to the repair site.

Thus, if Ukrainian suspicions are accurate, and the aircraft spotted at the end of February was the same one inside the recently attacked hangar, Russian losses could be significant. However, Defense Express points out that assessing the attack's impact is challenging without signs of a large fire. While the drones' penetration through the hangar's roof might have caused damage to the A-50, it's unclear if the damage was severe enough to render one of the few operational aircraft in service unusable. Recent reports suggest that only four Russian A-50s might be fully operational.

About the A-50 early warning aircraft

The A-50 Beriev aircraft, successor to the Tupolev Tu-126, serves the Russian Federation by monitoring aerial (up to 404 miles) and ground (up to 186 miles) objects. Equipped with the Liana radar on its fuselage, the aircraft supports ground units through reconnaissance and assists in intercepting enemy aircraft.

The A-50 Beriev is almost 164 feet long, about 49 feet tall, and has a wingspan of over 165.5 feet. Four Soloviev D-30KP turbojet engines power it, each offering a thrust of 26,062 lb-force. This enables the aircraft to reach up to 528 mph at altitudes of 7.4 miles. The A-50's range extends to approximately 4,535 miles with a single refueling.

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