Saturday, December 10, 2022

Deathbed For Sukhoi Jets: With Over 3 Dozen Shot Down, Meet The Fighter That Has Been Annihilated In Ukraine War

On November 8, Russia claimed its air defense units shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 ground attack plane and intercepted 17 HIMARS and Olkha rockets. 

According to Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the defense ministry, an air defense system in the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 aircraft near the town of Ugledar.

Konashenkov added that the Russian air defense units also intercepted the 17 rockets of HIMARS and Olkha multiple-launch rocket systems in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kherson Region.

He stated that Russian air defense systems eliminated seven unmanned aerial vehicles and thwarted an assault by a Ukrainian motorized infantry battalion in the Kupyansk area within 24 hours.

The Russian Defense Ministry also noted that the Ukrainian military had lost around 160 personnel in the Kupyansk region in the last 24 hours, as well as two tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, and two motor vehicles.

Ukrainian Su-25
File Photo: Ukrainian AirForce-Su-25

Additionally, the Russian Aerospace Forces gunned down a Ukrainian Air Force Mi-24 helicopter close to the settlement of Novovoskresenskoye in the Kherson Region. Besides that, the Ministry claimed to have destroyed the Ukrainian military’s air defense systems. 

Russian troops destroyed a radar for a Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Pervomayskoye in the Mykolaiv Region. The general also said that Russian forces destroyed a Ukrainian Buk-M1 surface-to-air missile system near the town of Visunsk in the Mykolaiv Region.

Nonetheless, Russia and Ukraine have used the Su-25 aircraft extensively in the ongoing war. Ukraine, on November 7, also claimed that its air defense units had taken down a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft in the Kherson region. 

The Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced the news on Telegram. The command said, “in the Kherson region, a unit of the Kherson anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Air Command South shot down a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft.”

Su-25s Performance On the Battlefield

The Su-25 Grach (‘Rook’), also known as Frogfoot, is a Soviet-era close air support (CAS) aircraft. The Sukhoi Design Bureau developed it to target small, stationary, and moving ground targets.  

Russia and Ukraine fighter pilots have been operating their Su-25 aircraft close to the ground, mostly to avoid being detected by the radar systems of the adversary.

But the low-flying approach leaves the aircraft vulnerable to enemy MANPADS, responsible for most aircraft shoot-downs by both sides in the ongoing conflict.

The Frogfoot has suffered significant losses in the ongoing conflict, with the air forces of both sides primarily using it for ground assaults. The aircraft was also the “most destroyed” fighter in the Ukraine conflict.

According to data published by the military tracking blog Oryx based on visual verification, 38 Su-25s have been destroyed, 23 of which belonged to Russia and 15 to Ukraine. 

The Su-25’s arsenal has traditionally included rockets, cluster bombs, and unguided 250- or 500-kilogram bombs. The Soyuz/Gavrilov R-195 turbojets that power the aircraft have a maximum takeoff weight of 17,600 kilograms and provide a thrust of 44.17 kN each. 

It is capable of reaching a top speed of 950 km/h. The Su-25 had a combat radius of 375 kilometers and a range of 750 kilometers. The aircraft has a service ceiling of 7000 meters and can climb at a pace of 58 meters per second. 

The Frogfoot’s ten underwing pylons, which can accommodate a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapon systems, can be armed with the air-to-ground Kh-23, Kh-25ML, and Kh-29l missiles, as well as the air-to-air R-3S and R-60 missiles. 

Sukhoi Su-25 - Wikipedia
Sukhoi Su-25 – Wikipedia

The aircraft can also be equipped with S-24 240mm guided missiles, S-25 330mm guided rockets, B-8M1 pods for 80mm S-8 rockets, and UB-32A pods for 57mm S-5 rockets. 

The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-II 30mm twin-barrel cannon, mounted on the port side of the aircraft’s bottom fuselage, has a magazine capacity of 250 rounds that can fire 3,000 rounds per minute in bursts. 

In 2001, the Russian Sukhoi Design Bureau began a project to upgrade the Su-25 into the Su-25SM attack aircraft. The upgraded aircraft variant entered service with the Russian Aerospace Force (VKS) in 2007.

The improved aircraft model has a Phazotron Kopyo-25M radar, an SUO-39 firing control system, a Pastel countermeasures kit, and a navigational computer. 

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