ArmyInform published about the combat biography of the Hero of Ukraine, the commander of the Buk-M1 air defense system battery Major Yaroslav Melnyk, who became the author of such a curiosity: how to shoot down an enemy plane without firing a single missile.
During the war, the Hero of Ukraine Yaroslav Melnyk's battery destroyed 28 enemy air targets - 13 drones, 11 aircraft of various types, 2 rotorcraft and 2 russia’s cruise missiles, shooting down 40 of their anti-aircraft missiles. This is more than an outstanding result, which was achieved by literally inhuman efforts.
Read more: Vysokopillia In the South And Ozerne In the East Liberated: Ukraine's Military Reported Successful Counterattacks
But in the mentioned article by ArmyInform, we can find other details: how russians tried to "hunt" our air defense with the help of tactical aircraft equipped with the Kh-31 and Kh-58 anti-radar missiles. And how Ukraine’s SAM systems acted to avoid being hit by the enemy.
Hero of Ukraine, Yaroslav Melnyk, says that the first downed target of his battery was russia’s Mi-8 on February 26, near Zaporizhzhia. And this may indicate that when russians in the early hours of the day raised groups of their strike aircraft into the air, they could not (or did not want to) ensure the presence of their aircraft with anti-radar missiles to destroy air defenses everywhere. Melnyk's battery in the first hours of the war, in order to avoid being hit by the enemy, was ordered to withdraw to Nova Kakhovka, later to Zaporizhzhia, and in mid-March 2022 to move to the vicinity of Izium in Kharkiv Oblast. Which directly indicates how difficult it was in the first weeks of the war for the Ukrainian Air Force to close the sky over Ukraine.
Hero of Ukraine Yaroslav Melnyk talks about his combat work in the Kharkiv Oblast in March-April 2022. Then russians operated in groups of up to 10 aircraft, some of them (or all 10 units) were equipped with anti-radar missiles. The Buk-M1 surface-to-air system can "lead" at only one target when firing, while another aircraft could shoot back with its Kh-31 or Kh-58.
Accordingly, to destroy air targets, the occupiers had to use the "bite and run" tactic: that is, go to a position, literally turn on the equipment for a few seconds, shoot a missile at the enemy and immediately move to a new position.
According to this tactics, the factor of moral and willpower superiority of our anti-aircraft fighters over the invaders played an important role.
In fact, this is how the situation happened: Ukraine’s Buk shot down russia’s plane without firing a single shot when the radiation sensors in the cockpit of the enemy jet went off, and the pilot was simply frightened and ejected.
Or when Melnyk's subordinates shot down two enemy planes at once: the leader stupidly "placed himself" under Ukraine’s anti-aircraft missile, the driven by jet began to maneuver chaotically out of fear, so he also received a missile hit as a "bonus".
The article makes it possible to find out all the components of the success of Ukraine’s anti-aircraft fighters in protecting the sky over Ukraine from the air raiders. At first, our defenders of the sky made inhuman efforts to restore the integrity of our air defense coverage over the entire territory of the country as much as possible in the first weeks of the war.
After that they did everything to make the Russians waste their stock of Kh-31 and Kh-58 anti-radar missiles. And the next step was to finally repulse the desire of russians to fly their planes into the zone of action of the Ukrainian air defense.
Moreover, there are quite a lot of photos of russia’s Kh-31 missiles, which were shot down by our anti-aircraft defense, in open access.
Read more: The General Staff of Ukraine Hints: russians to Run Out of S-300 Missiles For Ground Strikes Soon