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Russian A-50 early warning reconnaissance aircraft

Photo: UIG / IMAGO

It has been two years since Russian leader Vladimir Putin's troops attacked their Ukrainian neighbors.

A cruel and costly war has been raging ever since, in which the invaders have recently gained more and more advantages.

This makes the obvious prestige success that Ukraine announced just in time for the anniversary all the more important.

According to Ukrainian military intelligence, a "valuable A-50U aircraft" was shot down over the Sea of ​​Azov, which separates the two countries.

A map with the alleged crash site was published.

A “serious blow to the potential and capabilities of terrorist Moscow” was achieved.

No confirmation from Russia

According to Ukrainian information, this is the second downing of an A-50 in just a few weeks.

Russian authorities did not confirm the loss of either aircraft.

The state agency Tass spoke of a fire near Krasnodar that caused a “falling flying object”.

In January, however, Russian military bloggers confirmed the loss of a machine.

The incidents are likely to be painful for Moscow.

The A50, especially in the overhauled A-50U version, is a kind of “flying radar”.

That's what Douglas Barrie from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London calls it.

The A50 has a large radar on the roof.

The crew consists of 15 people.

Multiple goals in view

The machine is capable of detecting other aircraft at a distance of up to 650 kilometers.

Ships or short-range missiles approaching can also be seen from hundreds of kilometers away.

Several dozen targets can be kept in view at the same time.

The scout can also serve as a command center.

This allows information to be passed on to troops on the ground and battlefield movements controlled.

It is possible to coordinate the deployment of up to ten fighter aircraft.

Last year it was said that Russia only had a total of twelve A50 aircraft available.

The AP news agency now reported that Russia has nine machines in use.

Ukraine is said to have succeeded in firing one down last year.