Russia deploys Su-25s in new strategic attack aviation in West front

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia has found a use for its outdated Su-25 Grach subsonic attack aircraft. Moscow is creating a new attack strategic aviation in the Western Military District. The attack air fleet will be made up of Su-25 and will be responsible for the ground support of the Russian troops in Ukraine.

Russia deploys Su-25s in new strategic attack aviation in West front
Photo credit: YouTube

The decision to increase the combat capability of the Western strategic direction was officially announced by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on January 13. The main objective of the Su-25 will be the destruction of enemy strongholds. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Su-25s from the Western Military District will be key in supporting Russian ground missions in Ukraine.

Before the start of the war with Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, 192 Su-25 units were operationally ready in the composition of the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS]. Russia operates three modifications of the Su-25: the basic Su-25 variant, the twin-seat Su-25UB, and the Su-25BM target-towing version.

Russia should also have a naval variant for taking off from an aircraft carrier – the Su-25UTG. Since Moscow only has the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, and it is currently operationally incapacitated, the Su-25UTG is dropped as part of strategic attack aviation. It is also not known how many Su-25UTG units Russia has.

Su-25 should be everywhere

The creation of strategic attack aviation in the Western Military District of the Russian Federation is key for Moscow. Until now, even after remembering the war with Ukraine, Russia did not have a strategic attack aviation built in this district. Moscow has been strengthening this direction in recent months with attack aircraft taken from the southern and eastern military districts.

The Russian test pilot Mr. Igor Malikov commented to the Russian media Izvestia that the decision to deploy the Su-25 in the west is excellent. In this way, he noted, Moscow guarantees the support of the ground forces in all directions.

“They [Su-25s] should be everywhere. A magnificent plane. Unfortunately, we are not currently developing new attack aircraft, but the Su-25 is always relevant. It is an infantry cover combat vehicle. The appearance of attack aircraft in a western direction is the right decision about current events. People on the battlefield must be covered,” explained Mr. Malikov.

Russia used the Su-25 several times during hostilities in 2022. Ukraine also uses such attack aircraft.

Su-25 in Ukraine

However, the statistics of the Su-25 are not good at all in the war in Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine have lost the most units from this particular aircraft during hostilities. BulgarianMilitary.com has repeatedly announced the reason.

See what a Russian Su-25 after being hit by MANPADS looks like
Photo: Telegram

The Su-25 flies at a low altitude to fulfill its role as an attack aircraft. however, at low altitudes, the Su-25 falls victim to man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems. Ukraine has these, both locally produced and supplied by allies. It can be said that man-portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems are some of the most supplied weapons of Ukraine.

All these facts seriously doubt how successful the Su-25 aviation will be for Russia. It would not be at all surprising if in the coming months, the Russian air force begins to lose quantities of Su-25s. However, Russia’s Defense Ministry has not announced how much it will deliver to the Western Military District.

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