Support Us

Air Force clarifies impact of A-50 aircraft loss on Russia's force deployment

Tuesday, 16 January 2024, 09:39
Air Force clarifies impact of A-50 aircraft loss on Russia's force deployment
Yurii Ihnat. Stock photo: Ukraine's Air Force

The Ukrainian Air Force has explained that the loss of one A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft cannot fundamentally impact the balance of forces using aviation on the front. However, it is undoubtedly a significant loss and will likely compel Russia to exercise more caution in the skies.

Source: Colonel Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for Ukraine's Air Force, in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda

Details: Ihnat recalled that the A-50 is a long-range radar detection aircraft that scans Ukraine’s territory (detects aerial targets) up to 600 km deep, intended, among other things, to support the work of its tactical aircraft. Usually, it operates with the Il-22M airborne command post plane.


These aircraft assist the Russians in managing the actions of their troops and forces.

The spokesman for Ukraine's Air Force notes that Russia possesses a significant air fleet with numerous airborne means of attack. However, each successful special operation by the Ukrainian Defence Forces leads to certain changes in the Russians' tactics.

For example, Ihnat recalled that the Air Force managed to "catch" five aircraft in the north and three Russian fighter jets terrorising the front line with guided air bombs on the southern front. After this, the Russians have been cautious about approaching closer to the contact line.


Quote: "The Air Force has gained the capability to deliver such effective strikes, so the aggressor will likely behave more cautiously. Of course, this is a significant blow to Russian aviation and, most importantly, to the image of the Russian regime. The loss of such an aircraft as an A-50 likely occurred for the first time. At the same time, Russia still has several units of long-range radar detection aircraft in operational condition. The dictator shows no intention of stopping, so the enemy is likely to continue pursuing its criminal intentions in conducting military actions."


  • On the evening of 14 January, reports appeared on Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels about the downing of a Russian A-50 reconnaissance aircraft and damage to an Il-22M, which was partially confirmed on the morning of 15 January by Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, and Ukrainska Pravda’s sources in the Ukrainian government.
  • On 15 January, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, confirmed that the Ukrainian Air Force downed two important Russian planes: an airborne early warning system (AWACS) aircraft and an airborne command post.
  • Ukraine's Air Force reported that а Russian Il-22 command aircraft probably survived a Ukrainian attack but is beyond repair.
  • Kyrylo Budanov, Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU), claimed the destruction of a Russian A-50 airborne early warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft would likely affect Russia's ability to maintain communications in the conflict zone "around the clock".

Support UP or become our patron!