Ukraine says latest-generation Russian fighter jet hit for first time

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces for the first hit a Russian Sukhoi Su-57 latest-generation fighter jet on an airbase inside Russia, Kyiv’s GUR defence agency intelligence agency announced on Sunday. It showed satellite images which it claimed confirmed the strike.

The GUR didn’t specify in a Telegram message how or by what unit the Su-57 had been hit.

Popular Russian military blogger Fighterbomber, who focuses on aviation and is pro-war and pro-war, said that the report on the Su-57 strike was accurate and that the drone had hit it.

The GUR reported that the aircraft was parked on the Akhtubinsk Airfield, located 589 km away from the frontlines in Ukraine where Ukrainian and Russian invasion forces are fighting.

The GUR posted images with its message. “The pictures show the Su-57 standing in tact on June 7th, but on the 8th, there were craters caused by the explosion, as well as characteristic fire spots from fire damage nearby,” it said.

Since February 2022, Ukraine has been engaged in a full-scale Russian offensive. Both sides regularly conduct strikes hundreds of kilometers into enemy territory using drones and missiles.

Ukraine, lacking the arsenal of missiles that Moscow has, has concentrated on building long-range drones for striking targets deep within Russia.

The Russian blogger Fighterbomber reported that the jet fighter had been damaged by shrapnel. Damage was being assessed at the moment to determine if it could be repaired.

If the plane was deemed beyond repair, it would be the Su-57’s first combat loss.

Alexander Kharchenko, the military correspondent for the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency, posted a cryptic post that did not acknowledge the strike directly but condemned the lack of hangars protecting military aircraft.

The Su-57, despite being hailed as a Russian fighter aircraft of the fifth generation to rival its U.S. counterpart, was plagued with development delays and crashed in 2019. Serial production, according to the manufacturer, will begin in 2022.

This heavy fighter jet is capable of performing a wide range of roles on the battlefield.

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