Russian A-50 Reportedly Lost Over Sea of Azov

According to pro-Ukrainian telegram page, WarMonitor, the Russian Aerospace Forces have lost contact with an A-50/MAINSTAY airborne early warning and control aircraft over the Sea of Azov. This is a single source report at the moment and has not been corroborated by government sources.

If true, this would be the second strategic AEW&C aircraft incident since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the March 2023 drone strike on an A-50 inside Belarus that damaged the radome of that aircraft.

The Beriev A-50 (NATO reporting name: Mainstay) is a Soviet airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport. The large Liana surveillance radar allows detection ranges of 650 kilometres (400 mi; 350 nmi) for air targets and 300 kilometres (190 mi; 160 nmi) for ground targets. It can control up to 10 tactical fighters at once.