How Ukraine managed to down 13 Russian planes in 11 days

February 29,2024 3042
How Ukraine managed to down 13 Russian planes in 11 days

The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down 13 Russian aircraft in 11 consecutive days. Ten Su-34 and Su-35 fighter bombers and a rare Beriev A-50 radar plane will no longer fly.

The Russians are losing jets 20 times faster than they can replace them,” writes Forbes. Journalist David Axe suggests that the Ukrainians may have achieved such success by using missile systems, such as Patriot and NASAMS, as well as exploiting blind spots created among the Russians after the destruction of a third of the long-range radar detection aircraft A-50.

It’s possible the Ukrainian air force has assigned some of its American-made Patriot missile launchers to mobile air-defense groups that move quickly in close proximity to the 600-mile front line of Russia’s two-year wider war on Ukraine, ambushing Russian jets with 90-mile-range PAC-2 missiles then swiftly relocating to avoid counterattack,” Axe writes.

However, the journalist adds that the significant distance from which the A-50 was shot down on February 23 indicates the use of missile systems. Axe is convinced that Ukrainians moved some NASAMS portable air defense systems with a range of 40 km closer to the front line.

Forbes notes that the Russians’ actions themselves also contributed to the destruction of the aircraft. Russian aviation conducts more flights closer to the front line to prevent the advancement of Ukrainian ground forces.

“The enemy has overcome the fear of using aviation directly over the battlefield,” the Ukrainian Center for Defense Strategies explained, “and although this results in the loss of aircraft, their ground forces gain a significant firepower advantage.”

The Ukrainian Air Force is reportedly using its last Patriot and NASAMS missiles to deplete the Russian military air forces and prevent future mass bombings, according to the journalist. At the same time, the Russians are aiming to bomb more Ukrainian garrisons to assist their ground forces in consolidating their positions.

With both sides expending resources they can’t renew—the Ukrainians their American-made missiles; the Russians their Su-34s, Su-35s and A-50s—both sides in the Russia-Ukraine war are waging short-term campaigns they hope will secure them a long-term advantage,” Axe writes.

The journalist concludes that support from the United States, which the US House of Representatives has not yet approved, would help replenish Ukraine’s weapon supplies and prevent it from getting into a difficult situation.

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