Ukraine says it struck Su-57 fighter jet on ground at Russian air base | Russia-Ukraine war News

The Ukrainian military agency said the plane was among ‘a countable few’ of its type in Moscow’s arsenal.

Ukrainian forces have struck a latest-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet at an airbase inside Russia, Kyiv’s GUR defence intelligence agency said, sharing satellite pictures which it said confirmed the attack.

In a Telegram post on Sunday, the GUR did not specify how the Su-57 was hit or by which unit of the Ukrainian military, the first such attack.

In one photo, black soot marks and small craters could be seen dotting a concrete strip around the parked aircraft.

A popular Russian pro-war military blogger, who calls himself Fighterbomber and focuses on aviation, said the report of the strike on the Su-57 was correct and that it had been hit by a drone.

The GUR said the aircraft was parked at the Akhtubinsk airfield, which it said was 589km (366 miles) from the front lines in Ukraine.

“The pictures show that on June 7, the Su-57 was standing intact, and on [June 8th], there were craters from the explosion and characteristic spots of fire caused by fire damage near it,” the GUR said, posting the images alongside the message.

The Ukrainian military agency said the plane, which is capable of carrying stealth missiles across hundreds of kilometres, was among “a countable few” of its type in Moscow’s arsenal. According to reports by Russian agencies, “more than 10” new Su-57s were added to Moscow’s fleet last year, and a total of 76 have been ordered for delivery by 2028.

First Su-57 combat loss?

Ukraine has been fighting against a full-scale Russian invasion since February 2022.

Ukraine, which lacks the vast arsenal of missiles available to Moscow, has focused on making long-range drones to strike targets deep inside Russia.

Russian blogger Fighterbomber said the jet fighter was struck by shrapnel and the damage was currently being assessed to see if the aircraft could be repaired.

He said if the plane were to be deemed beyond repair it would be the first combat loss of a Su-57.

Russia’s military bloggers like Fighterbomber are often seen as sources of information on military losses in the absence of an official Kremlin comment. Russia’s Ministry of Defence and senior political figures did not comment on the claimed attack on Sunday.

Despite being touted as a Russian fifth-generation fighter aircraft to rival its US equivalent, the Su-57 was plagued by development delays and a crash in 2019. According to its manufacturer, serial production of the aircraft began in 2022.

It is a heavy fighter jet capable of fulfilling a variety of battlefield roles.

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