“Roaming Patriot” is no longer needed: experts say what could have shot down the A-50 plane

From the front line to the scene of the incident is more than 200 km, which excludes almost all types of weapons that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have.

A-50 fell all the way in the Krasnodar region - too far from the front /  collage, photo wikimedia.org, still from video

Russia has lost another A-50 airborne early warning aircraft. But unlike the previous such episode, this time the downing occurred much further from the front line, which excludes the possibility of using the Patriot air defense system, writes the military-analytical portal Defense Express.

Journalists note that the distance from the front line to the place where the plane crashed (the village of Trudovaya Armenia, Krasnodar Territory of the Russian Federation) is more than 200 km.

“Even the so-called “wandering Patriot”, according to the known performance characteristics, could not reach it. For the known range of the GEM-T is up to 160 km. And to this distance we must also add a logical retreat from the front edge, at least to the artillery range. And thus the main question and objectively unanswered is exactly how the Russian plane was obtained,” experts note.

screenshot deepstatemap.live

As Defense Express notes, the first weapon that comes to mind in view of such a range is the old Soviet S-200 air defense system. Or rather, its version of the S-200M “Vega-M”, which has a nominal range of 240 km.

Analysts say that “the fate of these air defense systems within the Armed Forces of Ukraine is generally known,” hinting that they were removed from service back in 2013. But during a full-scale war, the use of these missile systems to attack ground targets was documented, so at least theoretically, the A-50 could be shot down from the S-200 complex.

A missile from the S-200 air defense system at the 2008 parade in Kyiv / wikimedia.org

Destruction of another A-50: what is known

As wrote, in the evening of February 23, numerous messages appeared on the Internet that another A-50 reconnaissance aircraft, of which there are only a few in Russia, was shot down over the Sea of ​​Azov. The first such incident occurred a little over a month ago – in January.

In confirmation, footage was published of the moment the missile hit the plane and footage of a large-scale fire on the ground.

Subsequently, the Air Force of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed the fact of the destruction of the Russian aircraft. Armed Forces Commander Nikolai Oleshchuk “congratulated” the invaders “Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day,” specifying that the plane had the call sign “Bayan.”

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