Losses and Aviation Safety

Bayraktar TB2-taken video features Ukrainian Su-27 nearly blowing up his wingman with a dumb bomb delivered against Russian garrison of Snake Island

Somebody has released the Bayraktar TB2-taken video featured in this post of two Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jets bombing the Russian garrison of the Zmiyniy Island (the famous Snake Island in the Black Sea).

Somebody has released the Bayraktar TB2-taken video featured in this article (originally posted by Oryx on Twitter) showing two Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jets bombing the Russian garrison of the Zmiyniy Island (the famous Snake Island in the Black Sea).

What you can see are two Ukrainian Su-27s streaking in at low altitude, perhaps 150m, to release ‘dumb’ bombs. Probably, each released two. The video is not clear enough to say the type, but I doubt they are anything else than FAB-250M-62 or FAB-500M-62, ‘slicks’.

Now pay attention:

– at least one of bombs released by the formation leader failed to detonate;

– which was just as good because the detonation of the one bomb that did go off nearly blew up his wingman, in turn

– causing the wingman to miss by a wide margin.

I know, it’s going to sound ‘unfair’ and many aren’t going to like the following, but, ‘praise, where praise is due, and critique, where critique is due’.

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By all respect for Ukrainian pilots who, no doubt, are longing for action and are ready to pay the price for defending their country…. but, this is ‘brilliant’ demonstration that they are simply not trained well-enough, or at least do not have sufficient experience to fly this kind of missions. Nobody with sufficient training and experience would fly this mission that way: if, then there would no ‘welded wing’ formation, but a separation of at least 15-30 seconds between the two aircraft.

Of course, one could say, ‘well, Su-27-pilots are spending 90% of their time training air-to-air’ – and, no doubt, that’s truth. But the problem is that before the war they flew too little to at least try training these 10% of air-to-ground properly. Moreover, considering this war is not going to be over tomorrow in the morning, at least their commanders should not send pilots lacking training and experience into combat operations of this kind.

Once again: pilot bravado, all nice and fine. As long as nobody gets hurt – I’ve got no problem with it. But this is just a waste of pilots and aircraft that simply can’t do the job.

And: delivering ‘A-10s & F-16s’ – sorry, that would simply make absolutely no sense.

Get them UAVs.

Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper.

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

View Comments

  • Why do you say the second aircraft missed the target? If you ASSUME it was the building, you may be correct. However, about half way through the video, where the second aircraft's bombs impacted, you see several, large, secondary explosions. Was that where the Russian Landing craft was docked off loading a new Surface to air missile system?

  • What are you talking about?
    A total of 4 bombs exploded and there were 2 areas where there were buildings. Both bombed and levelled. Got secondary explosions too.
    There are satellite views of the outcome... check better before posting.

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