Tupolev Tu-22M3 "Backfire" strategic bomber

Russia has already lost at least 100 fixed-wing aircraft, says UK

Most recent loss was that of a Tupolev Tu-22M bomber on April 19 attributed to a Ukrainian missile

Russia has already lost at least 100 fixed-wing aircraft since the start of the military invasion of Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

The most recent loss occurred on Friday, April 19, when a Tupolev Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bomber crashed in a field.

The aircraft appeared on video with its tail on fire. Ukraine claims it shot down the Tu-22, but Russia has denied it.

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According to the UK MD, the bomber may have been hit by an S-200 missile, the same one that shot down an A5-Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft in February.


The United Kingdom did not elaborate on the losses of Russian aircraft, but the Oryx Blog, which maintains an updated list on this, points out that at least 92 fighters and attack planes were lost.

There are also five command and control aircraft and eight transport aircraft on its list, as well as three strategic bombers – the Oryx list did not include the Tu-22M that crashed on April 19.

9% of combat aircraft fleet lost

The type of aircraft most lost by Russia would be the Su-25 attack aircraft, with 31 losses, followed by another attack jet, the Su-34, with 25 units damaged or destroyed.

Wreckage of Sukhoi Su-35S that crashed in Ukraine

The list also includes seven Su-35S fighters, the most updated variant of the Flanker, and 136 helicopters of different models.

According to World Air Forces 2024, the Russian Air Force would have at least 1,400 combat aircraft, meaning the service has lost about 9% of its fleet since February 2022, when the invasion began.

Part of the losses were replaced with the production of new aircraft, but the pace, it seems, would not have been enough to cover the gap.


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