Ukraine's Air Force takes down six Russian warplanes in one week

Over the past three days, Ukraine's Air Force has destroyed six Russian planes – four Su-34 and two Su-35 fighters, amounting to an estimated cost to the Russian military of around $400 million.

On February 17th, Ukrainian Air Force reported the downing of three enemy aircraft in the east – two Su-34 fighter-bombers and one Su-35 fighter. By Sunday morning, another Russian fighter had been added to the tally. "Around six o'clock, the warriors of the Air Command 'East' grounded another Russian aircraft – a Su-34 fighter-bomber in the eastern direction," press service of the Ukrainain Air Force noted.

However, the count did not stop there. On Monday, February 20th, residents of occupied Mariupol reported explosions and plane crashes at sea. Later, on social media, it was reported that signals from two Russian aircraft vanished from radars. Eventually, the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Air Force reported that they had destroyed two Russian planes, which had been hitting Ukrainian forces' positions with guided air bombs – one Su-34 fighter-bomber and one Su-35S fighter.

Consequently, Russia has lost six fighters over Ukraine in one week, with total combat aircraft losses increasing from 332 to 338.

The Su-34 and Su-35 are considered some of the most modern aircraft of the Russian army. Their production under sanctions has become longer and more problematic; nonetheless, Russia continues to produce aircraft, although only two to three units per year, particularly Su-34 aircraft.

The Su-34 is a Russian fighter-bomber based on the Su-27. It is capable of precise strikes and can attack moving targets. Its primary task is to deliver precise strikes against various configurations of targets, ranging from aircraft to ground targets. The Su-34 has a two-person crew, is armed with a 30mm cannon, and has 12 hardpoints for carrying a payload that should not exceed 8 tonnes. Its radar system can detect targets from up to 75,000 meters away, and it has a maximum speed of up to 1,900 km/h. The price of a Su-34 is approximately $50 million, and the cost of the aircraft depends on its additional capabilities.

  War in Ukraine, Su-34, Su-35