Su-27 as Gripen: watch how it takes off/lands from a normal road

KIEV, UKRAINE — A rather intriguing and curious video appeared on the web. A Russian-made Su-27 Flanker fighter jet took off and landed from a makeshift runway among trees. The track is actually an intercity road, not even a highway.

Watch: Su-27s toss high-speed high-drag bombs on Russian facilities
Photo: Wallpaper HQ

The author of the tweet claims that these are Ukrainian Su-27s. Although, the camouflage is quite different from the camouflage of the Ukrainian Air Force, we will not argue about a “similar trifle”. It’s possible that the light and low-quality video are playing tricks on our eyes. More importantly in this case, the Su-27 shows a capability known until now for the Swedish SAAB Gripen JAS 39 fighters.

The video was released on April 10. According to the weather conditions, it seems that the recording was made in winter. The snow cover is noticeable, even on the road. However, the fighter jets are two different ones, judging by the different camouflage. One camo is blue-light blue while the other is -gray-light gray-black.

Some of the Soviet fighter models were designed like the Swedish Gripep – to use improvised, rough, sometimes short runways for take-off and landing. This is one of the most frequently published reports from This capability of the Gripen and now the Su-27 is much more substantial and significant for the Ukrainian Air Force.

Taking off from short improvised intercity runways will allow the Ukrainian Air Force to be much more mobile than if it acquired the F-16. The F-16, as well as aircraft of this class, were not designed to perform such take-offs and landings. They require a designated depot to perform maintenance and an original military airstrip to perform smooth takeoffs and landings.

Give Ukraine a Gripen, the F-16 can't give what the Swede can
Photo credit: RSAF

They [F-16s] require good quality runways not only for the landing gear but also for the electronics and radar. Strong impacts can damage them. However, I suppose any western aircraft designed specifically for landing on aircraft carriers might be an exception.

Navy fighters are designed for hard landings on aircraft carriers, where the landing gear and electronics must take much more punishment. Heavy seas can affect the position of the landing decks, even on the largest carriers, resulting in rough landings. F-16s are not built for this.

Give Ukraine Gripen

That is why believes that if Ukraine is going to want planes, the best option is for them to be Gripen. Gripen has flexible functionality. Departures from similar runways, including agricultural airports. It can be hidden in a wooded area near a road. Servicing the Gripen does not require a depot, but a mobile team. The Gripen is designed to be serviced and maintained in real field conditions. The Gripen design itself was designed to meet a Russian threat in a similar war environment.

Give Ukraine a Gripen, the F-16 can't give what the Swede can
Photo credit: RSAF

The capability of the Gripen [Su-27 also as seen in the video] opens up new opportunities for the Ukrainian Air Force. These two planes can be moved continuously. In this way, Russian intelligence will be confused, as Ukraine will have the ability to better hide the positions and deployment of its fighters. This will not affect the Russian superiority currently in the Ukrainian skies, but it will certainly reduce the flights of Russian fighters.

This video is further proof of concentrating forces on building the right air tactics. This video also proves the claims from Washington that the F-16 will not be useful to Ukraine. And last but not least, the video supports our report.


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