Drones

As a Ukrainian Tupolev Tu-141 drone crashes in Croatia, Moscow says it destroyed 90% of the Ukrainian Air Bases (But The Pentagon says that 90% of the Ukrainian Air Force is intact)

Ukrainians lost another Su-25. The VKS lost two additional jets, too: a Su-30 or Su-34 and a Su-25.

After claiming to have shot down two Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29s and one Su-27, on Mar. 8, 2022, and then to have destroyed a total of 124 Ukrainian aircraft and helicopters, and 84 UAVs by Mar. 9, Moscow claimed yesterday that 90% of Ukrainian military airfields and the main body of the Ukrainian ‘combat aviation’ have been destroyed.

The Pentagon instead seems to be of an entirely different opinion: they claim 90% of the Ukrainian Air Force remains intact.

This is very likely to include Bayraktar TB.2s, then even if the MOD in Kyiv is hardly ever releasing any related videos, there’s meanwhile little doubt that these are deployed ‘even’ for close-air-support operations: i.e. seem they have depleted the air defences of forward RFA units to a degree where they can operate relatively freely… or the situation for the Ukrainians is far more critical than they would ever admit, or is known in the public…?

Certain is only that the Ukrainians lost another Su-25: ‘Blue 31’ was shot down yesterday afternoon.

The VKS lost two additional jets, too: a Su-30 or Su-34 that suffered an unknown type of combat damage over Ukraine, crashed inside Belarus while attempting to reach the Luninets AB. The crew of two ejected safely.

A Su-25 of the 18th ShAP was shot down by a MANPAD over the Chernihivka village, in the Zhitomir area. (Pay attention at an increasing number of air strikes in this area.)

In turn, the Russian warships fired several cruise missiles off the coast of Odessa – prompting locals to report shelling of their city. Actually, the missiles have targeted the Krivoy Rog AB.

Finally, late in the night, an ‘unidentified flying object’ crashed in southern Zagreb, capitol of Croatia: this might have been an old Tupolev Tu-141 Strizh (Swift) target drone launched by Ukraine. Think, NATO might want to check how can it happen a flying object like this one not only enters its airspace (probably over Hungary) and then crosses another border without being intercepted…

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Photo credit: VargaA Own work via Wikipedia

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Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017. tom@acig.info

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