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​Two Su-34 and a Su-35 Down At Once: Ukrainian Air Defense Destroys russian Aircraft

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Photo render by Defense Express / For illustrative purposes
Photo render by Defense Express / For illustrative purposes

It seems that the "wandering Patriot" once again caught several careless frontline aircraft trying to throw some UMPK bombs on Ukrainian positions

The Aerospace Forces of russia have lost three more combat jets operating in the near-frontline areas: two Su-34 tactical bombers and one Su-35 fighter. The successful downing of enemy aircraft in the eastern operational warzone was reported by the Ukrainian Air Force Command.

Defense Express adds that such composition of the russian aircraft formation indicates that it was a group on a mission to launch UMPK guided glide bombs. Usually, the execution tactics are the following: two Su-34s drop the bombs upon distant targets on the ground, while the Su-35 provides air cover, sometimes it launches anti-radar missiles to ensure safety for the group and increase the probability of a successful hit.

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There is a high chance this time as well the "wandering Patriot" is accounted for the downing of russian jets. For a reminder, it is a presumed Ukrainian-developed tactic of utilizing the American anti-aircraft missile system to prepare an ambush, which requires taking the risk of deploying the system dangerously close to the forward line of enemy troops.

The GEM-T interceptor used by Patriot against targets like aircraft and cruise missiles, has the maximum range of 150 km, and the no escape zone, i.e. the maximum launch distance allowed for a guaranteed lock on the enemy is around 110 km, according to unofficial data. On the other side, the maximum range of an UMPK is 60–70 km.

Read more: How Dangerously Close a Patriot Must be to Shoot Down a russian A-50 Over the Sea of Azov