Su-57 criminal targeted in Ukraine, seen in new higher resolution satellite images


New satellite images obtained by The war zone from Maxar Technologies on Monday show a clearer picture of the Next generation Su-57 Felon fighter aircraft the target of a Ukrainian drone strike on an airbase deep in Russia which we wrote about yesterday. The footage also shows three Felons, Moscow’s most advanced fighter jet, on the tarmac at Akhtubinsk air base, about 580 kilometers from the front lines, in Russia, before and after the June 8 attack. Most importantly, the images posted by Ukraine’s Directorate of Defense Intelligence (GUR) on Sunday focused tightly on the criminal they claimed was damaged, but these broader before-and-after images provide much more context and opportunity for comparative analysis.

The plane in the center of the new Maxar images is the plane that Ukraine claims was damaged. It is under a shelter framework without any covering. In a photo from June 7, before the attack, there is slight discoloration on the platform on the left side of the plane, but no scorch marks or craters. There is also a silhouette of an Su-57 painted on the platform, which the Russians used in an attempt to disrupt Ukrainian strike operations. You can read more about that effort here.

Een door Maxar gemaakt satellietbeeld toont drie Su-57 Felon-vliegtuigen op het platform van het vliegveld Akhtubinsk in Rusland op 7 juni, vóór de Oekraïense drone-aanval.  <em>Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies</em>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY4Ng–/ da21b6929e56a91″/>  <em><knopklasse=

A satellite image taken by Maxar shows three Su-57 Felon aircraft on the tarmac of Russia’s Akhtubinsk airport on June 7, before the Ukrainian drone strike. Satellite photo ©2024 Maxar Technologies

The second image Maxar sent us today shows the same thugs parked on the platform after the June 8 attack. Like the GUR image, burn marks can be seen and what is now clearly a small crater to the left of the cockpit of the center aircraft. As we noted yesterday, the explosion and especially the shrapnel from such a nearby explosion would most likely have punched holes in the aircraft and caused other damage. A scorch mark can still be seen at the rear of the aircraft, with what appears to be a small impact hole in the concrete.

There is also still the white spot on the top of the fuselage behind the cockpit. It is unclear what this is. It is possible that it is some type of tarp that may cover damage. The other white streak-like abnormality emerging from the inner wing appears to be solar glare. The GUR image also had this, which was confusing at the time but now makes sense in the context of the new images with the other nearby aircraft.

Een Maxar-satellietbeeld gemaakt op 8 juni na de aanval toont schade aan één en mogelijk twee Su-57 Felon-jagers van de nieuwe generatie.  <em>Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies</em>” data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY4Ng–/ 76fb70791b0791b58e”/>  <em><knopklasse=

A Maxar satellite image taken on June 8 after the attack shows damage to one and possibly two new-generation Su-57 Felon fighters. Satellite photo ©2024 Maxar Technologies

On Sunday, Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov, head of the GUR, said told us that his organization carried out a drone attack on that air base, damaging one and possibly two criminals.

These new images put more emphasis on the possibility that the primary Su-57 in question has been damaged. The crater is clearly defined and located very close to the jet.

As we reported on SundayAfter the attack, the Russian Aerospace Forces-affiliated Fighterbomber Telegram channel complained bitterly about the lack of proper shelters to fend off such drone attacks. These complaints continued on Monday, this time from an unnamed Russian colonel who claimed 20 years of uniform. He called for an investigation by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Voeinnoi Kontrazvedki Department (DVKR), the FSB’s military counterintelligence unit.

“I appeal to the commanders of the air bases of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the heads of the DPRK departments that supervise them,” the colonel complained to the Gray Zone Telegram channel. “WHAT OR WHOSE INSTRUCTIONS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE COVERS FOR OUR AIRPLANE EQUIPMENT? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? BY YOUR ACTION YOU SUPPORT THE ENEMY!”

“I realize that creating solid, underground or above-ground reinforced concrete shelters may be a problem that cannot be solved at your level,” the colonel continued. “At the same time, taking into account that the main damage to our aircraft comes from primary and secondary fragments formed after explosions of UAVs and enemy missiles, aluminum hangars or hangars made of sandwich panels will in most cases be sufficient to preserve aircraft equipment. (the price of such a hangar with an area of ​​12x6x45 meters less than 1 million rubles ($11,245)).”

Even the kind of shelters the Russian colonel described, as we noted earlierwould provide a layer of protection that can help protect against low-yield drone attacks and make targeting much more challenging. As the plaintive voices rise amid the ongoing Ukrainian drone attack against air bases deep in Russia, it will be interesting to see whether Moscow will better protect its planes.

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