Ukrainian blow to the Russian Air Force

It is bad that the most sophisticated and modern equipment of the Air Force cannot be used in combat. It is even worse that the industry in the country that produces it can barely produce more than a few units per year. Now, that is -or, perhaps, is includedUse two – Gila’s is one of those planes being destroyed in the war despite not being involved in the war… and this is what could have happened The most modern aircraft of the Russian Air Force, Su-57. Russia has only 14 of these aircraft, and NATO and the United States have serious doubts that it has the courage to launch them into Ukrainian airspace, fearing they will be shot down.

This is a contradiction in itself, since the Su-57 is considered an aircraft Unable to be detected by radar And so, it’s very hard to drop. And, although Ukrainian air defenses have improved significantly since the war began, thanks to weapons deliveries from its allies, in the first moments of the invasion they barely existed. The fact that Russia did not even use the Su-57 in Ukrainian airspace then is the best definition of the difference between Putin’s armed forces on paper and in reality.

Now, Russia could At least one of the planes was lostOn Saturday, the Akhtubinsk air base, located about 600 kilometers inside Russia, was attacked by a Ukrainian drone. The bombing not only reveals the impunity with which Ukrainian drones are operating over Russian territory. It also exposes Moscow’s incredible incompetence.because, some 28 months after the war began, the hangars housing the six to eight SU-57s destined for that base had not been reinforced.

That means the Russian army never thought about how much these planes would cost. Between 35 and 50 million eurosThe target could be an attack with drones or Ukrainian special forces, despite the fact that they have already taken action in the St. Petersburg area against Tu-22 bombers, and even blew up the 15 kilometer-long Severomuysky tunnel, located 7,000 kilometers away in the interior of Russia and near that country’s border with China and Mongolia.

Bombing shows how Ukrainian drones continue to attack Almost ‘guerrilla’ warfare by air and sea -where they have devastated the Russian Black Sea fleet with selective strikes against refineries, weapons production factories and some of the jewels of the Russian armed forces. The attack also reveals the weakness of Moscow’s air force, in case there was any doubt. The US estimates that Russia has about 900 combat aircraft – in comparison, the US has about 2,200 – but, due to maintenance needs, it can only have about 450 at any given time, and that’s very optimistic. Given the country’s vast borders and the needs of the Ukrainian war, Russian military aviation is operating beyond the limits of its capabilities,

No airplane, no pilot

In fact, the attacked base, Akhtubinsk, is a training center, which explains the presence of the Su-57, because About 57 produced, ten are prototypes. Not only does Russia not have the planes; it doesn’t have the pilots, it even has to use training aircraft and instructors in Ukraine to carry out attack operations. It’s possible that the destroyed Su-57s carried out attacks against Ukraine. Although even that is an oddity. The only offensive operation in which the Su-57 regularly participates is the launching of missiles from Russian territory. And you don’t need a state-of-the-art aircraft for that. In fact, many of these projectiles are sent from Tu-95 bombers, a plane that entered service 72 years ago, when the Stalin He ruled the Soviet Union, harry truman in the United States and Peron in Argentina.

Between 80 and 100 arrive in Ukraine F-16 fighter-bomber -although older models, and with technology developed between 1990 and 2000- and, in 2025, the Mirage 2000 and perhaps the Swedish Draken could put a lot of pressure on the Russian air force. Moscow’s initial successful offensive near the northeastern Ukrainian city Kharkivis stuck or even retreating, while Ukraine is planning a generalized counter-strike as early as 2025, precisely when it will have F-16s and can really implement NATO strategy, in which air superiority is a fundamental element. Because no one in the Atlantic Alliance thought that a year ago the Ukrainian counter-strike was based on NATO principles, but without NATO content, since the Ukrainian Air Force is at a minimum level.

For Russia, the problem is worse, because its military aviation is not used to operating autonomously. In that country’s military doctrine, the air force is completely subordinate to the army, to the extent that each division has its own aircraft section. Attempts to make the air force autonomous have of course failed, because for army generals, having the air force wings at their disposal opens up tremendous possibilities for corruption in supplies and fuel (the fact that Vladimir Putin handed over the independence of military aviation to a ground general is an indication of how Moscow sees who should be in charge with regard to aircraft).

Despite these shortcomings, there are those who see that the Ukrainian coup against – or “the”, because Ukraine insists that two planes were hit – the Su-57 has a psychological component similar to the sinking of the cruiser Moskva in April 2022. Because, if the ‘Moskva’ was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Su-57 is the aircraft symbolizing Putin’s revival. In principle, it is a fighter-bomber. Fifth generationwhich involved evading radar detection in most of the missions it performed (although Invisibility Airplanes are never 100% guaranteed) and – although this second case is more controversial – being able to fly at supersonic speeds without resorting to afterburning, which increases fuel consumption.

in behaviour, traitor one of two The culprit was tried and found guilty ,Criminal), which NATO calls a fighter-bomber, does not meet the second of those characteristics, as Russia itself has admitted it needs to use afterburning when exceeding the sound barrier. In fact, the Su-57 was going to be a joint Russian-Indian project until New Delhi backed out in 2018 because, among other things, Russia was going to be unable to build the engine the two countries had decided the fighter-bomber would have.

on top of that, his fail to find out As for the radar – which is the real unforgivable condition for being a fifth generation fighter-bomber – is very moderate. The radar ‘signature’ of the Su-57 – that is, the signal it generates on the radar – is 30 to 300 times larger than that of the American F-117, the first ‘stealth’ aircraft that began flying in 1981 and that was retired seventeen years ago. This means that the surface area of ​​the Russian aircraft is 30 to 300 times larger in the ‘eyes’ of the radar than that of the F-117, which received its baptism of fire in the invasion of Panama in 1989 (a devastating move, that is to say, given that the planes indiscriminately bombed the shanty town of El Chorrillo, where the headquarters of Panamanian General Manuel Antonio Noriega were located, causing a death toll that is not yet clear).

The Su-57 doesn’t have a problem bombing civilians because never seen war. Several units of the aircraft were sent to Syria, but for propaganda reasons, because they looked beautiful on television. Those planes raised even more doubts about the ability of planes to ‘disappear’, because their wing pieces were assembled with nuts, a cardinal sin in devices ‘invisible’ to radar, in which every surface must be smooth and covered with a material that absorbs electromagnetic waves to avoid detection.

Other latest devices already have components joined together without screws that reflect radar and, therefore, evade detection. Still, the Su-57 has a signature Radaric Which, according to some estimates, is 10,000 times larger than the American combat aircraft F-22, which is theoretically its most direct rival, despite the fact that the United States is already preparing to withdraw it from active service, while the ‘Felon’ fail, move beyond the two dozen units built and try to evade the Ukrainian drones.

(tags to translate)international

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