The man-portable missile launchers used by the Ukrainian forces are not only wreaking havoc with Russian vehicles, but also with their aircraft.
This morning, the Russian state agency RIA Novosti published a story about the extreme situation experienced by a Russian pilot at the controls of a Sukhoi Su-25 attack plane. He and another partner had just attacked a ground target. As they retreated, the plane was hit by a man-portable surface-to-air missile (known as MANPADS) fired by the Ukrainian defenders. The missile hit the right engine of the Su-25.
According to the Russian agency, the pilot remained calm and managed to straighten the plane's course. At that moment, his partner saw in the cockpit mirrors the launch of a second Ukrainian MANPADS. The partner launched his plane's infrared countermeasures (the now classic flares that planes launch to deflect heat-guided surface-to-air missiles) and the missile passed under him. RIA Novosti posted this morning at 9:33 CET the video of the damaged plane on its Telegram channel:
The images, in which the numerals of the damaged plane and another that was on the same base have been out of focus, show serious damage to the right engine, as well as damage to the fuselage and drift of the plane, as well as minor damage to the right stabilizer.
As documented by the website Oryxspioenkop.com, Russia has already lost at least 13 planes during this invasion. Of these, 6 were Sukhoi Su-25s, of which 5 were destroyed. The plane that we have just seen in the video would be the only damaged one that has been documented so far.
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