The Russian Defense Ministry uploaded a video of Su-35, Su-30SM fighters participating in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The video shows the crews of Su-35 and Su-30SM combat aircraft fulfilling the tasks of delivering strikes against Ukrainian military facilities. The pilots perform flights at various altitudes, employing air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles.
Enemy scurries away from the battlefield after being detected by fighters’ radars, Russian pilot reveals
The Russian Defense Ministry also uploaded an interview with a Russian military pilot who had displayed courage during the special operation in Ukraine. As fighter aircraft pilot Klim pointed out, he and his fellow servicemen had never had to engage in a battle with Ukrainian aircraft.
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“The enemy simply abandons the battlefield as soon as it gets into the radars of our fighters,” the pilot said.
One single instance occurred at the beginning of the special military operation, when a pair of Ukrainian Su-27 military planes decided to put up resistance to a Russian strike group and headed towards it, the pilot recalled.
“When we approached our maximum launch and effective range, we locked on the target. The radar emissions alert system was activated. Possibly, it was reported from the ground that we were within our effective range as we were already flying at a supersonic speed. So, the enemy turned away,” the pilot said.
A Ukrainian military plane can be spotted on the radar of a Russian fighter on a rare occasion, Klim said. The enemy has been actually left without combat aircraft and the basic task of Russian Su-30SM and Su-35 fighters is to totally eliminate the remnants of Ukrainian air defenses, he added.
“During the first several days, there was a large amount of shelling attacks on our group, i.e. surface-to-air missiles. On average, they fired up to four missiles at us in a sortie,” Klim said as he spoke about the Ukrainian military firing US-made Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missile systems.
“Eventually, this effectiveness declined. There are now cases when they make no attempts to counter our groups. We analyze and see how it [the enemy] operates and what versions it is working on. We also make adjustments each time so that none of the sorties can look like the previous one,” the Russian military pilot emphasized.
The enemy is trying to put up resistance and deceive, he said.
“But we are working on all these scenarios, assessing and making decisions proceeding from the situation in the air,” the pilot added.
“We are employing precision weapons that help trace emissions of enemy air defenses and subsequently identify, lock on the target and launch missiles. A missile catches the signal quite quickly and gauges the range. We have done all this more than once. This poses no difficulty for us,” Klim said.
A pilot is required to make a quick, weighed and cool-headed decision in the air, the Russian pilot went on to say.
“Even if the enemy is quick to switch off the capabilities that it uses for emissions, a missile is smart and records the coordinates and so the enemy has simply no time to move far away,” he said.
Su-35, Su-30SM fighters
The Su-35 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E+) is a Russian generation 4++ multirole supermaneuverable fighter with a thrust-vectoring system codenamed as the Su-35S in Russia’s Aerospace Forces. The fighter has a maximum take-off weight of 34.5 tonnes and can accelerate to 2,500 km/h. The Su-35 has an operational range of 1,500-4,500 km and a service ceiling of 20,000 meters.
The Su-35 is capable of employing an entire range of existing and future air-launched air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including precision weapons. It carries a 30mm GSh-30-1 gun, short-, medium-and long-range air-to-air missiles, Kh-31, Kh-35U or Kh-59M anti-ship missiles and various types of precision munitions and rockets as its basic armament. The fighter integrates the IUS-35 information and control system and a phased array radar capable of detecting targets at a range of 100 km-400 km.
The Su-30 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) is a Russian two-seat heavy multirole fighter. It was developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in the late 1980s and is derived from the trainer version of the Su-27UB. As compared to the baseline version, the Su-30 features an enlarged weapons suite, upgraded equipment and the mid-air refueling system. The Su-30 export versions are popular abroad. In particular, Russia delivered 200 Su-30MKI fighters to India alone. The deliveries of Su-30 modifications to the Russian Air Force began in 2010. The Su-30SM is capable of carrying a broad range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and bombs on 12 hardpoints for external payloads and is outfitted with a 30mm gun.