Ukrainian Drone Forces Grounding of Latest Russian Fighter Plane

The Ukrainian army launched a kamikaze drone attack on a Russian air base. A Su-57, a latest generation Russian fighter plane, was damaged.

The Ukrainian army damaged a Russian Su-57 fighter jet, the most modern combat aircraft of the Russian army. Ukrainian intelligence broadcast images on Telegram on June 9 of the damage caused by three kamikaze drones at the Akhtubinsk airfield located in the Astrakhan region in Russia, 600 km from the front line in Ukraine. Satellite images shared by Ukraine show shrapnel and explosion craters around the device.


Photos of the SU-27 fighter plane shared by the Ukrainian army. // Source: GUR
Photos of the Su-57 fighter plane shared by the Ukrainian army. // Source: GUR

The specialized media The War Zone also obtained photos taken by the American company Maxar confirming that the fighter plane was hit. Telegram channels linked to the Russian ultranationalist paramilitary group Wagner have also complained about the lack of underground shelters for this type of aircraft.

The model of the drones involved in the attack has not been released. Ukraine is developing numerous kamikaze devices capable of striking deep into Russian territory. Some devices have just left the Ukrainian army's innovation centers and are carrying out their test phase by directly striking Russia.

A fighter jet designed to compete with NATO

The extent of the damage caused by the drones was not given. The power of the explosion can damage many components. Unlike other aircraft widely used in Ukraine, such as Russia's Su-35s, Su-57 fighters have not played a major role in the Kremlin's air presence in Ukraine and are being preserved by Moscow. Their ability to fly and their discretion are not yet really known to Western powers.

An Su-57 // Source: Russian Ministry of DefenseAn Su-57 // Source: Russian Ministry of Defense
An Su-57. // Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

The Su-57 was designed to compete with the latest generations of NATO fighter jets, such as the F-35 and Rafale F4. Its unit cost would be around 50 million euros.


This attack, far from the front line and against a very important military base, raises questions about the country's anti-aircraft defenses, particularly against small devices such as increasingly dangerous drones.