Ukraine strikes key Russian Aerospace Forces’ assets

January 15,2024 864
Ukraine strikes key Russian Aerospace Forces’ assets

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has confirmed that the Ukrainian Air Force shot down two Russian planes in the sky over Ukraine.

“The servicemen of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed an enemy A-50 AEW&C aircraft and an Il-22 enemy airborne command post. I thank the Air Force for the perfectly planned and performed operation in the Azov Sea! Glory to Ukraine!” Zaluzhnyi wrote.

The Air Force of Ukraine also confirmed the successful operation. “The special operation in the Azov Sea was successful. To be continued… The Air Force is guarding the sky of Ukraine!” the message reads.

Information about the destruction of the Russian AEW&C A-50 aircraft with registration number RF-50601 “Krasny,” as well as the damage to the Il-22 airborne command post, appeared in Ukrainian and Russian media on the evening of January 14th.

“The loss of such aircraft is a severe blow to the Russian Aerospace Forces, and the Russian defense industry is unable to compensate for this loss. The means of aircraft destruction are unknown and could involve ground-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, anti-radiation missiles, or technical malfunctions. One of the possible scenarios is friendly fire,” writes the Militarnyi media.

A Russian A-50 AEW&C aircraft is designed to monitor targets in the air, on land, and at sea, as well as to engage fighter aircraft. The Russian Aerospace Forces reportedly have only 9 such aircraft, according to the monitoring group Belaruski Hajun. The cost of the aircraft is US$330 million.

“There are 10-11 operators on board the aircraft with the complex: a commander, a senior guidance navigator, two guidance navigators, a senior escort operator, two escort operators, and flight engineers. 5 flight crew members accompany them.

Using optoelectronic onboard systems, the aircraft can detect ballistic missile launches up to a distance of 800 kilometers. In comparison, the radar station can detect and track aircraft and cruise missiles at distances of up to 700 kilometers. Targets such as air defense missile launchers and ballistic missiles can be identified at distances of up to 400 kilometers and concentrations of armored vehicles up to 450 kilometers. It is essential to note that to detect unconventional targets, the aircraft must operate at a certain altitude to compensate for the terrain’s relief,” as reported by Militarnyi.

Simultaneously, another aircraft, the airborne command post Il-22M, was developed based on the Il-18 airliner. This aircraft assists in managing troops during combat operations.

Cover: United Aircraft Corporation

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