PATRIOT Shoots Down Three Advanced Russian Su-34s, Largest Loss of TMS In A Single Day

Update (1408 EST): President Zelensky has confirmed the shootdown, his announcement reads below:

”Grateful to our soldiers who destroyed three Russian Sukhoi aircraft at once. In the South – in our Kherson region. It’s the gain of our Air Force and the direct action of the Odesa Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. Thank you, guys! And may every Russian pilot be well aware of our response to every Russian killer – none of them will go unpunished.“

Update (0933 EST): Russian military bloggers are blaming Russian General Teplinsky for ordering the glide bombing of the Ukrainian bridgehead by Su-34s even after a November 25th shoot down of another Su-34 carrying out that mission. The bloggers claim that Teplinsky is “obsessed” with destroying the Ukrainian bridgehead and has “crossed a line”, sacrificing hundreds of soldiers, Marines, and now up to four Su-34s. According to their sources, the general disregarded warnings of Ukrainian shuffling of advanced air defenses to Kherson and ordered the flights anyways. These bloggers may be referencing Colonel General Mikhail Teplinsky who is the embattled commander of Russian VDV forces in Ukraine.

At approximately 0600 EST, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Oleshchuk announced that his forces shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers in the Southern conflict zone at midday, local time. The bombers were downed above Kherson Oblast on their way to attack the Ukrainian bridgehead at Krynky.

Russian military bloggers immediately responded; fighter_bomber, a popular Russian military Telegram page posted that the circumstances were being investigated, but that the flight of Su-34s were most likely shot down by U.S.-supplied PATRIOT surface-to-air missile batteries.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces then posted the below photos showing search and rescue helicopters investigating the crash site where they found a parachute and flight gear of at least one of the Russian pilots. They also reported finding one of the pilots, but that claim has not been proven by images or credible sources.

The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Danilov told Pravda Ukraine that the “hunt for the Su-34s lasted a long time”, with Russian sources claiming that the PATRIOT SAMbush was identical to the Shootdown in Bryansk Oblast this summer.

This is the largest loss of this type, model, series in a single day. The Su-34 is the most advanced Russian fighter-bomber in the VKS. Based on the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker air superiority fighter, the Su-34 has an armored cockpit with side-by-side seating for its two pilots. The Su-34 was designed primarily for tactical deployment against ground and naval targets (tactical bombing/attack/interdiction roles, including against small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favourable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fireand electronic warfare (EW) counter-measures deployed, as well as for aerial reconnaissance. The Su-34 is planned to eventually replace the Su-24 tactical strike fighter and the Tu-22M long-distance bomber.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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