Russian Foxhound did risky look-and-shoot skills but struck Su-24
MOSCOW ($1=64.53 Russian Rubles) — A Russian MiG-31 supersonic interceptor aircraft, also known as the Foxhound, shot down a Ukrainian Su-24. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation informed about this battle on October 27. The Ukrainian fighter was shot down by the launch of one of the latest RVV-SD air-to-air missiles.
The dogfight is interesting as the Su-24 is much more maneuverable than the MiG-31. Here, however, a huge role is played by the Ukrainian tactic of the planes flying low so as not to be intercepted by the deployed Russian air defenses. At the same time, the MiG-31 was on a patrol mission, meaning that, contrary to Ukrainian tactics, the Foxhound was flying at a high altitude. This action by Russian aircraft is known as a combat patrol.
It was the low-altitude flight of the Ukrainian Su-24 that allowed the pilot of the Russian MiG-31 to use one of its radar capabilities. This is a Look-down/shoot-down. I.e. the MiG-29’s radar detects, tracks, and directs weapons at aerial targets that are silhouetted against the ground.
How did it happen?
The Russian media Izvestia also wrote about this air battle. Moreover, they provide video footage of a MiG-31 taking off and landing, which they claim is the one that successfully destroyed the Ukrainian plane. BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm whether this is the case, but there is a difference in armament when the plane takes off and lands. I.e. when the plane lands on the runway one RVV-SD air-to-air missile is missing. The MiG-31 can carry two RVV-SD air-to-air missiles [one under each wing].
The use of the RVV-SD missile meant that after it was fired the pilot continued to illuminate the target with the Zalson-AM PESA radar that was integrated into the MiG-31. The onboard radar then provided all the information to the control radar, which confirmed that the Su-24 had been hit.
Although the Zalson-AM PESA is not as advanced a radar as compared to the AESA radars, the Zalson-AM is very suitable for detecting low-flying targets.
The Russian MiG-31 pilot took a lot of risks. The look-down/shoot-down technique means that when the radar antenna is pointing down toward the ground, the entire radar system remains blind to its surroundings. This is because pointing down the antenna provides a large reflection, which affects all other computing systems, including the pilot’s concentration because the display is “cluttered” with such a large reflection.
Radar systems of this type are essentially useless when aimed “down” at the surface, the area of weakness being near and below the horizon. This area can be actively used by enemy fighters wishing to hide from radar tracking using a technique known as terrain masking.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border. Moscow also claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country. The invasion followed also by targeted tanks entering via Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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