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    Ukrainian Forces Strike Rare Russian Su-57 Fighter Jet at Air Base

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    Ukrainian Forces Strike Rare Russian Su-57 Fighter Jet at Air Base
    • June 10, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Ukrainian forces have struck a Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet at the Akhtubinsk airbase inside Russia, according to Kyiv's GUR defence intelligence agency. The Su-57, one of only a few in Moscow's arsenal, was reportedly hit by a drone, marking the first attack of its kind. Satellite images shared by GUR show black soot marks and craters around the aircraft. The Russian blogger Fighterbomber confirmed the strike, noting the jet was damaged by shrapnel. If deemed irreparable, this would be the first combat loss of a Su-57. The attack underscores Ukraine's strategy of using long-range drones to target deep inside Russia amidst the ongoing conflict.

    In a significant escalation of the conflict, Ukrainian forces have struck a Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet at an airbase inside Russia, according to a statement from Kyiv's GUR defence intelligence agency. The attack, which marks the first reported strike on a Su-57, targeted one of Russia's latest-generation fighter jets, which are among "a countable few" in Moscow's arsenal.

    The GUR shared satellite images purportedly confirming the attack, which took place at the Akhtubinsk airfield, located 589 kilometers (366 miles) from the front lines in Ukraine. The images reveal black soot marks and small craters dotting the concrete strip around the parked aircraft. In a Telegram post on Sunday, the GUR did not specify the method or the unit responsible for the strike but highlighted the significance of the damage inflicted on the prized jet.

    A prominent Russian pro-war military blogger, who goes by the name Fighterbomber and specializes in aviation, corroborated the Ukrainian report. He stated that the Su-57 had been hit by a drone, adding that the damage was currently being assessed to determine if the aircraft could be repaired. This incident, if the plane is deemed beyond repair, would mark the first combat loss of a Su-57.

    The struck SU-57
    Image of the struck SU-57 felon

    The Su-57, touted as a fifth-generation fighter aircraft to rival its U.S. counterparts, has been plagued by development delays and setbacks, including a crash in 2019. Serial production of the aircraft began in 2022, with Russia having ordered a total of 76 units to be delivered by 2028. Reports indicate that more than 10 new Su-57s were added to Moscow’s fleet last year.

    This latest development underscores the ongoing and intense conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which has been raging since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Despite its extensive military arsenal, Russia has faced persistent resistance and innovative countermeasures from Ukrainian forces. The use of long-range drones by Ukraine to target critical assets within Russian territory represents a significant tactical adaptation aimed at offsetting its relative disadvantage in missile capabilities.

    The Su-57’s combat debut has been controversial, and its operational deployment has been closely watched by military analysts worldwide. The aircraft is designed to fulfill various battlefield roles, equipped with stealth technology and capable of carrying a range of weapons across long distances. However, its troubled development history and the latest setback in the form of this attack cast a shadow over its perceived efficacy and strategic value.

    As the conflict continues, both sides are likely to escalate their tactics and countermeasures, making the battlefield even more unpredictable and dangerous. The strike on the Su-57 underscores the volatile nature of the ongoing war and the lengths to which Ukraine is willing to go to challenge Russian military supremacy.

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