Patriot is believed to have ‘killed’ a Su-34 over Russian territory
After Ukraine claimed that on May 16, the Ukrainian Patriot shot down six Kinzhal [Dagger] missiles of the Russian air force, Kyiv now believes that the Su-34 that went down on May 13 over Bryansk [in Russia] was also shot down by the Patriot. This is what the Ukrainian website Defense Express claims in its publication.
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We remind you that on May 13, four aircraft from the inventory of the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] “fell”. According to Russian media, friendly fire shot down a Su-35 fighter jet and two Mi-8 helicopters. The fourth, a Su-34, went down due to engine damage, Moscow initially said, but later confirmed that Russian air defenses shot down the Su-34.
Just as there is currently no evidence of the downed six Kinzhal missiles, there is no evidence that the Patriot shot down a Su-34 over the Bryansk region. Official statements from Kyiv are also missing, as are those from Moscow. BulgarianMilitary.com, however, recalls that it was after the Su-34 crashed that the Russian army sent a team. This team should to search signs of a sabotage group involved in the possible downing of the plane.
The reason for such a statement by the Ukrainian media is a statement by representatives of the Pentagon and Congress, quoted by CNN. Ukraine has used the Patriot to shoot down a faraway Russian fighter jet in recent weeks, officials said.
The Patriot allegedly targeted a VKS fighter jet that was responsible for bombing civilian casualties. The US claims that when and how to use the Patriot depends only on the Ukrainian army. I.e. Washington says the Ukrainian military is responsible for working with Patriot. We remind you that it was previously known that this is not how things are with HIMARS. The Pentagon reportedly tells Ukraine when and at which targets to fire HIMARS.
The air distance from Kyiv [where one Patriot is supposed to be located] to the nearest border point with Bryansk Oblast is 203 km [127 mi].
According to information from open sources, it has been proven that Ukraine uses a PAC-3 CRI missile. Ukraine may operate a PAC-3 missile, but there is no confirmed information about this. The operational range against air targets of PAC-2 is up to 160 km, while that of PAC-3 is 40 km. There is a PAC-2 variant with a range of 20 km, but there is no confirmation of which PAC-2 model is available in Ukraine.
The Su-34 has been a key fighter-bomber for Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. This combat aircraft can carry the Kh-59 Ovod TV-guided cruise missile. This missile is air-to-ground and has an operational range of 200 km. Also, the Su-34 carries and drops aerial bombs, which have a range of up to 50 km and, as of early 2023, are Ukraine’s biggest unsolved problem.
If the Ukrainian press claim is confirmed, it would mean that Ukraine used a delivered Patriot system to shoot down an enemy plane over Russian territory. One of the conditions for the US not to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons, such as long-range missiles, is precisely that they should not be used against objects on Russian territory. There are currently no comments on this topic.
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