Su-35 Fighter Jet from Russia Vanishes from Radar

On Friday, a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet reportedly vanished from the radars near Mariupol. This incident occurred shortly after Ukraine declared that they had successfully targeted 13 Russian aircraft within a span of two weeks.

According to various monitoring channels for the Russia-Ukraine war, there have been reports of a fighter jet going missing in the vicinity of the Russian-occupied Donetsk city, located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. Although the status of the jet remains unconfirmed, if its disappearance is indeed a result of a Ukrainian attack, it would mark the 14th aircraft allegedly destroyed by Kyiv in the span of 14 days.

According to a post by the Ukrainian Front blog account on X, formerly Twitter, there are reports from monitoring channels suggesting that the Russian Su-35 fighter jet has vanished from radars in the Mariupol area. The post speculates that the jet might have been shot down, and the Air Force of Ukraine is currently awaiting further information.

On Friday, Newsweek sent an email to the Ukrainian military, seeking their comment on the matter.

According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, they have reported shooting down a total of two Su-35s, as well as ten Su-34 fighter-bombers and one A-50 long-range radar detection and control aircraft over the course of the past thirteen days.

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According to a report published on Thursday by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian military is facing significant consequences from the loss of 13 aircraft in just a matter of days, potentially including the loss of highly trained pilots.

During the entire war, Ukraine has claimed to destroy only the second aircraft of its type, the A-50. They say that there are still six more of these surveillance jets in service.

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a total of 345 Russian aircraft have been neutralized since the invasion began on February 24, 2022. The recent statistics, which indicate an average of one aircraft destroyed per day, demonstrate the increasing effectiveness of Ukraine’s air defenses as the war enters its third year.

According to Ukraine, they have removed a total of 414,680 Russian military personnel from the battlefield, which includes both fatalities and injuries that resulted in the end of their service. However, it is important to note that Newsweek is unable to independently verify these numbers provided by Kyiv.

As of Thursday, the Ukraine war has resulted in the destruction of 240 Russian airplanes and helicopters, according to the Oryx open-source intelligence tracker. This includes the loss of seven Su-35 jets.

In an opinion article published by Defense News in August, Michael Bohnert, an engineer at the RAND Corporation think tank, expressed concerns about the “overuse” of aircraft in Russia, stating that it was becoming increasingly costly as the war continued.

“In a protracted war, where one force aims to wear down the other, the total endurance of the military force becomes crucial,” he stated. “And this is the current situation for the VKS [Russian Air Force].”

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According to Bohnert, Russia will soon face a new challenge in the form of the “very different Ukrainian threat” posed by F-16 fighter jets. It is worth noting that Ukrainian pilots are currently undergoing training on these jets, and they are expected to be deployed in the war zone later this year.

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