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19 Apr. 2024

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Ukrainian Armed Forces shoot down russian Tu-22M3 bomber for the first time: what destroyed the aircraft

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Ukrainian Armed Forces shoot down russian Tu-22M3 bomber for the first time: what destroyed the aircraft

On Friday, a russian bomber went down more than 300 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. Later it became known that Ukraine was behind the destruction of the aircraft. Find out how the Ukrainian armed forces managed to do it

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On Friday, 19 April, the Ukrainian army destroyed a russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons for the first time in its history. The operation was conducted in cooperation with the Ukrainian Air Force and the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine. Find out what weapons were used to shoot down the aircraft that was carrying out attacks on Ukraine.


Reports of the downing of the military aircraft began to circulate in the russian media on Friday morning after Ukrainian cities came under heavy shelling from russia. Later, the russian Ministry of Defence stated that "a Tu-22M3 of the russian Aerospace Forces crashed in the Stavropol Territory after a combat mission while returning to its home airfield".


At the same time, russia claims that the plane crashed due to "technical malfunctions", but the Ukrainian side completely disagrees.


russia immediately admitted that the plane had gone down, although such confirmations from the occupiers are very rare. The video of the crash, which has been circulating online, shows the burning bomber flying chaotically to the ground. This indicates that control of the aircraft was lost in the air. But, according to the russians, all the bomber's pilots were able to eject, but one of them did not survive.


It is also noteworthy that the russian ministry of defence confirmed that the aircraft was involved in a combat mission. Just a few hours before, the russian army had launched massive strikes on Ukrainian cities, which led to large-scale destruction in the Dnipro region. There, the occupiers damaged a residential building with civilians in it.


The downing of the russian Tu-22M3 is an operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine


After some time, the destruction of the aircraft was confirmed by the Ukrainian command. The commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Mykola Oleshchuk, said that it was the first time that anti-aircraft units of the Armed Forces, in cooperation with Ukrainian intelligence, had destroyed a long-range strategic bomber of this type.


According to the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, the bomber was shot down 300 km from the Ukrainian border, which raises the question of what means Ukraine could have used to hit the aircraft at such a distance.


According to RBC-Ukraine, citing intelligence sources, the plane was destroyed using a S-200 system.




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What is known about the Tu-22M3 aircraft and the S-200 system that shot it down


The Tu-22M3 strategic bomber was commissioned by the Soviet army back in 1983. It was originally intended for bombing ground targets, as well as a nuclear weapons carrier.


It is the Tu-22M3, along with the Tu-95, that regularly shells peaceful Ukrainian cities with cruise missiles.


But the S-200 system, which shot down the plane over russia on Friday, was put into service by the army in 1967, precisely to shoot down bombers, but at a relatively low speed. It should be noted that the Tu-22M3 is considered a hypersonic aircraft.


In this case, the question arises: how could the S-200 system destroy a bomber of this type? The fact is that a few months ago, Ukrainian media suggested that the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to upgrade 5B28 missiles to the S-200 system, improving the guidance of this system.


In addition, the claimed range of the missile coincides with the approximate distance to the site where the Tu-22 was destroyed.


We remind you! In February, the russian army lost a significant number of combat aircraft bombing Ukrainian regions over a short period of time. How it happened and what unique aircraft Ukraine managed to shoot down at the time are described here.



Photo: Dmitriy Pichugin


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