Own goal


This must be embarrassing for the Russian armed forces . . . if not career-ending for some of them.

Russia took delivery on a handful of advanced Su-34M fighter bombers late last month, and one has already been shot down over Ukraine. It wasn’t Ukrainian forces who managed to down the twin-seat jet, however… It was Russia’s own air defenses.

Over the weekend, video emerged of Russian forces downing a jet operating over Eastern Ukraine, though at the time, it was unclear exactly what type of aircraft they had intercepted … “Last night, the air-defense crew of the allied forces destroyed a target in the sky over Alchevsk,” Yevgeny Poddubny, a Russian war correspondent and known propagandist, wrote with the video he uploaded.

“The nature of the target is not clear. The burning ball fell to the ground for more than a minute.”

The one-minute video shared on July 17 shows a bright light emanating from above the clouds, accompanied by a thundering crash. Shortly thereafter, a fireball can be seen falling from the sky.

It wasn’t long before the wreckage of the aircraft was located, and upon inspection, it soon became apparent that it was actually one of just ten or fewer Su-34Ms in existence, with a registration number of RF-95890.

These jets, which Russian media refers to as 4++ generation fighters-bombers, were just delivered to the Russian air force late last month, fulfilling the beginning of an order placed in May of 2020.

The only nation that operates these fighter-bombers, of course, is Russia themselves.

There’s more at the link.  You can see the video (and subsequent footage of the wreckage) at the link provided in the excerpt above.

Er . . . oops?



  1. That is designed in Russian air defense systems. No IFF. Due to western nations spoofing them they deleted it, and the operator decides to kill that target or not.

    Patriot batteries in Saudi have been spoofed by mostly homemade Yemenis drones and thus they got through some of the most defended airspaces in the middle east. A bit of a black eye from the viewpoint of the Saudis.

    That's why Turkey went for Russian S-400 over improved Patriot batteries as the Patriot will NOT Engage American Aircraft.

    Paul you might want to research the "Bird Strikes" the Israeli Airforce had with more than a few of their F-35's over Syria. Seems upgraded older S-300's are "Angry Birds".

    More and more "if it flies, it dies" with ever improving anti-air systems.

  2. If we're all through with the second-hand victory lap, lets think for a minute. What are the technologically likely "fixes" Russia could apply to prevent a reoccurrence of this event? What ramifications does such a thing have for those countries flying the F-22 or F-35, post fix? Is removing a few existing airframes from US and/or allied air force's existing fleets specifically to destructive test them against captured or domestic air defense platforms, an idea to be considered? How much of this can be reliably tested in simulation?

    Saying "thank you" to the Russians probably would be a "bridge too far", but might be appropriate at some future date.

  3. My understanding is that many countries plans have zones of free fire against aircraft and relatively narrow safe transit corridors for friendly aircraft (which can change often) so this could be a communication problem, of which they have had many…

  4. tsquared you might want to Google F22 shot down sometime.

    At least one killed by a Russian S-300 system and a few just last August by the Chinese.

    Technology marches on and it doesn't help when our own "Leadership" gets suitcases of cash from China.

  5. If anyone thinks China shot down an F-22, I have a bridge for sale, cheap. That's if they haven't already traded the family cow for magic beans.

  6. Russia should be happy to know that their defenses can bring down one of the most advanced aircraft in the world!

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