A Russian fighter jet was allegedly shot down by the Ukrainian air force in a dogfight Friday afternoon, according to a Tweet posted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The event marks the second attack of its kind since early April.
“Today, May 27, at about 2 pm, a MiG-29 fighter of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian Su-35 fighter in the sky of the Kherson region,” the air force said. The Su-35, it added, was “hunting for Ukrainian assault aircraft.”
“Glory to Ukrainian pilots! Death to the occupiers!” the statement added.
🇺🇦 Glory to Ukrainian pilots!
— Ukrainian Air Force (@KpsZSU) May 27, 2022
About the Su-35
Designed using fifth-generation technologies, the Su-35, called Flanker E as per NATO classification, is a super maneuverable, multi-purpose aircraft. The two-engine fighter jet has a distinct avionics system that uses a digital information control system and a new radar system that can effectively engage eight targets at a time.
The single-pilot aircraft, estimated to cost about $50 million apiece, is controlled without the use of any analog devices and can fly at speeds of up to 1,500 mph (2,400 kph) with a range of 2,200 miles (3,600 km). In service of the Russian forces since 2014, the aircraft can carry a diverse range of weapons such as rockets, air-to-air missiles as well as air-to-surface missiles.
A difficult offensive
Russia’s offensive in Ukraine has not been going as smoothly as Russian President Vladimir Putin would have hoped, with the air war, in particular, being extremely difficult. In early April this year, the Ukrainian Air Force announced that it had shot down another Russian Su-35 fighter that was on a SEAD mission (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses). This event marked the first documented downed fighter of its kind in the Ukrainian war.
At the time, the fighter jet was hit in the sky over the Izyum region in eastern Ukraine, about 75 miles (120 km) from Kharkiv. The pilot was captured by the Ukrainian armed forces who even managed to intercept a conversation with the Russian military about a possible rescue operation.