- The fighter pilots should employ the strategies created to intercept Kalibr cruise missiles in midair, according to Ukrainian media agencies.
- The Shahed-136, made by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, is intended to devastate ground forces and get past the adversary's air defences.
A fighter plane from one of the tactical aviation brigades crashed near Vinnytsia while on a combat mission to shoot down enemy kamikaze drones, known as “Shahed-136,” the Ukrainian Air Force said in a Facebook post.
The fighter jet’s accident, according to the Air Force, was caused by an unidentified technical issue that caused the pilot to lose control of the plane. The pilot, however, was able to eject and is now being treated in a hospital.
On social media, a video of this occurrence showing a fighter plane utilising its cannon to shoot down a target quickly gained popularity. The aircraft is not observed crashing, and neither is the target itself.
Interesting! A Ukrainian MiG-29 shoots down a Geran-2, proximity suggests, using his cannon. The drone explodes on being hit and plummets to the ground. Apparently, the MiG-29 itself went down, likely due to shrapnel hits from the exploding Geran-2! https://t.co/2DlLwt7l1k
— Vijainder K Thakur (@vkthakur) October 12, 2022
However, Russian-supporting internet users praised this as a victory for the kamikaze drone over the fighter jet.
According to experts, even if the combat aircraft may have been able to shoot the kamikaze drone, the latter’s explosion must have impacted the aircraft directly.
Squadron Leader Vijainder Thakur, a veteran fighter pilot with the Indian Air Force (IAF), reported for The EurAsian Times that after the MiG-29 shot down a Geran-2 (or Shahed-136) and when the drone exploded, it appeared that the MiG-29 itself went down, most likely due to shrapnel hits from the exploding Geran-2.
The State Bureau of Investigation of Ukraine, which conducted a thorough investigation of this entire incident, came to the conclusion that “Fragments of a crashed enemy drone hit the cabin of a Ukrainian jet,” demonstrating that Thakur’s judgement was right in the end.
This is the first instance of a military aircraft being hit in this manner that is known, according to Russian media accounts.
Use Of Fighter Jets To Strike UAVs
Although the Ukrainian military mostly uses its air defences to shoot drones, it started utilising fighter jets to do so in the first few days of October.
The first time Ukrainian fighter planes were employed against UAVs since the beginning of the Russian invasion was on October 5, when MiG-29s from the 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force shot down three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) built in Iran.
The 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade’s fighter pilots were praised by President Zelensky for their accuracy in taking down the adversary UAVs.
The fighter pilots should employ the strategies created to intercept Kalibr cruise missiles in midair, according to Ukrainian media agencies.
Like drones, the enemy’s cruise missiles have a small reflective surface. They often fly at a very low altitude, making it challenging for radar on an aeroplane to spot them against the ground.
The electro-optical targeting system is therefore used by the Ukrainian fighter pilots to find the thermal signature of the missile.
Iranian UAVs Overwhelming Ukrainian Air Defense Systems
As demonstrated on October 10 when Russia launched over 83 missile and drone attacks throughout Ukraine in retaliation for the bombing of the crucial Kerch Bridge connecting the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula to mainland Russia, air defence complexes continue to be the most effective defence against the drone and missile threat posed by Russia.
In addition, it appears that Ukraine’s stock of Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) is running low, which is crucial for the Ukrainian military to deny the Russian Air Force aerial dominance.
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was bombed by kamikaze drones “Geran-2” for the first time. The person recording the video can be heard saying “Suka” (meaning bitch in Russian). pic.twitter.com/b2jOsgRH3z
— Rakesh Krishnan Simha (@ByRakeshSimha) October 5, 2022
As a result, the Russian military’s use of Iranian-made Kamikaze drones has increased the difficulty of the Ukrainian air defence systems.
Russian aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, which are valuable and expensive, can be replaced by the cheap and disposable kamikaze drones.
Russia looks to be overpowering Ukraine’s air defences, particularly its treasured SAM stockpile, employing kamikaze drones like the Iranian-made Shahed-136. Ukraine loses its SAMs even if these drones are successfully shot down.
The Shahed-136, made by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, is intended to devastate ground forces and get past the adversary’s air defences. The drone can reportedly carry weapons weighing between five and thirty kilogrammes and has a range of around 2,500 kilometres.
The Russian military, according to the EurAsian Times, has successfully carried out swarm strikes employing Shahed-136 drones against Ukrainian positions that are as far away as Kyiv, far behind Ukrainian frontlines in the country’s eastern region.
Notably, the Russian military managed to surprise the Ukrainian air defence with these swarm attacks, reducing the likelihood that they would be repulsed.
This was most likely caused by the small size of these drones and the fact that they frequently fly at low altitudes, making them challenging to detect even by radars on the ground.