According to Forbes, Russian air defenses appeared to go into overdrive and shoot down their fighter jet above Ukrainian airspace. Unaware of whose aircraft had been shot at in the sky, a Russian official apparently relayed the story on Telegram earlier this week. Later, it was shared by other Twitter users.
Early this year, when Russian assault on Ukraine started, Ukraine benefited from the military assistance given by Western friends. In addition to eliminating aircraft threats, Ukraine was also able to deploy drone-based counterattacks that destroyed the Russian supply lines.
According to reports from earlier this month, Ukraine was losing ground to Russia as it started to concentrate its efforts in a few key areas and fortified its air defenses. The Su-34 M, one of the Russian military’s most technologically advanced fighter jets to date, was shot down, which appears to be a setback for the Russian forces.
What are our knowledge of the Su-34M?
According to Business Insider, the Su-34M is referred to as a 4++generation fighter bomber in the Russian media. The Su-27 aircraft, which was created to compete with the F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle of the U.S. military, served as the inspiration for the design of the new aircraft.
The Su-34 initially flew in 1990, but it wasn’t put into service until after another three decades. The Russian AL-31FM1 engines that power the Su-34 can produce 30,000 pounds of thrust, enabling the aircraft to reach a top speed of 1.8 Mach. The aircraft can carry over 17,000 pounds of ammunition and a 30 mm cannon thanks to a total of 12 hardpoints on the underwing and fuselage.
Su-34M, an improved model, has three separate sensors, an electronic search measure, a camera pod, and a synthetic aperture radar that can detect targets even in inclement weather
Defeated by friendly fire
Despite all of its cutting-edge features, the Su-34M was destroyed by a missile fired by its troops. According to Forbes, this could have happened as a result of a problem with the identification friend or foe (IFF) system that contemporary aircraft are equipped with. or merely a human error.
The wreckage of the airplane with the registration number RF-95890 was discovered shortly after the event. Only the Russian military operates the Su-34 aircraft globally, and the Su-34M was one of the 10 or possibly less fighters that were delivered up to this point.
According to a report by Business Insider, each of these cutting-edge aircraft is anticipated to cost Russia $50 million, a significant financial hit given that the country’s annual defense budget is only one-tenth that of the United States.
Russia has so far lost at least 35 fixed-wing aircraft for which there is photographic documentation. According to Ukraine, there are more than 200.