Military & intelligence

Cutting-Edge Russian Missiles Make Ukraine’s F-16s Easy Target Like Su-27s – Expert

 / Go to the mediabankRussia’s Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile. / Go to the mediabank

A surgical strike on an airfield wiped out five Ukrainian Su-27 fighters and damaged two others, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Tuesday. It added that two more Ukrainian jets, a MiG-29 and an Su-27, were shot down by Russian air defense systems.NATO’s F-16 jets promised to Ukraine will be hunted down and obliterated by Russia’s surgical strikes similar to the ones that took out five Su-27 fighters recently, Dmitry Kornev, the founder of the Military Russia portal, told Sputnik.If the airfield harboring the Western-delivered aircraft is too far out of reach for Russia’s Iskander missiles, Russia could use its Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile, Kornev pointed out. He added that the Kinzhal boasts a greater range than the Iskander missile, and is being used with great success to strike high-value targets in the special op zone.A group strike using the Iskander-M missile defense system destroyed five active Su-27 mufti-purpose fighters and damaged two aircraft undergoing repairs at the Mirgorod airfield in the Poltava Region, the Russian Defense Ministry said on July 2.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineRussian Forces Knock Out Nine Ukrainian Jets, Including Seven Su-27s2 July, 12:32 GMTThe raid on the Mirgorod airfield was described by Forbes as possibly “one of the costliest single days” for the Kiev regime. The publication pointed to an upsurge of Ukrainian bloggers that flooded social media, rushing to blame the nation’s air force officers who allowed the crews to park the Su-27s out in the open so close to the front line. The outlet also recalled that Russian Lancet drones had carried out a series of strikes on “vulnerable” Ukrainian air bases.

Russian air defense systems struck nine Ukrainian Air Force jets, including seven Su-27s, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Tuesday. "Two more Ukrainian aircraft, a MiG-29 and an Su-27, were shot down by Russian air defense systems," the ministry's statement said.

The ministry also noted that a surgical strike on the airfield wiped out five Su-27 fighters and damaged two others. Russian aviation, artillery, and drone units attacked concentrations of enemy troops and military equipment in 115 areas, the MoD added.

Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineRussian Iskander Missile Strikes Location of Ukraine Aircraft, 5 Planes Destroyed – MoD2 July, 05:59 GMTThe strike was a triumph owing to several factors, he clarified. There was “successful reconnaissance,” he noted, and the distance to the airfield allowed the high-precision Iskander missiles to reach their target.

“We can speculate that the bulk of Ukrainian aircraft was destroyed in 2022. What survived was somehow restored or repaired… The Ukrainian Armed Forces now have a very limited fleet of aircraft. In this sense, every aircraft is, of course, valuable to them, especially the Su-27,” Kornev said.

The expert stated that Kiev cannot acquire Su-27s from other countries. Their only option is to try and restore the remaining aircraft by potentially buying spare parts from other sources.“It is impossible to get the Su-27 the way they received the MiG-29 from Eastern Europe. Accordingly, the value of this aircraft for the Ukrainian Armed Forces is very high,” noted Kornev.The number of aircraft that an Iskander missile can potentially destroy depends on how the targeted jets are parked, he explained, and he went on to clarify:

“If they were lined up the way planes are parked at airfields during peacetime, more of them could have been [destroyed], about 10-15. Here, you need to understand that the planes were stationed in individual protective aircraft shelters. That is, a shelter housing a single plane. The dispersal area of cluster munitions is approximately the size of a stadium, or even slightly larger.… In other words, several dozen combat elements hit the aircraft, which are made of light metal and do not have protective armor.”

The expert speculated that some of the jets might theoretically be restored, but for now, they are effectively out of action.

The Netherlands is expected to deliver the first batch of the much-promised F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine within weeks, the outgoing Dutch government said on Monday.

According to Kornev, in response to Ukraine’s potential acquisition of F-16 combat jets from the Netherlands, Russia will primarily rely on strategic reconnaissance capabilities. Additionally, Russia will maintain a high state of readiness with its assets in order to promptly respond to any potential strike force.In a March conversation with military pilots, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained that the supply of F-16s would not change the situation on the battlefield. Nevertheless, Moscow stressed it would treat the jets as nuclear-capable assets due to their dual-purpose nature.MilitaryLavrov: Russia Sees NATO’s Plans to Supply F-16s to Ukraine as Signal in Nuclear Sphere30 May, 00:45 GMT


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