Ukrainian military claims to have destroyed one of Russia’s most advanced fighter jets

The Ukrainian military has for the first time destroyed a fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR) announced on Sunday.

The GUR said that the multi-role fighter jet was targeted on the ground at the Akhtubinsk military airfield in southern Russia’s Astrakhan region on Saturday. The GUR shared two satellite images: one from Friday showing the jet intact, and a second, from Saturday, showing the jet after the airstrike.

Telegram channel Fighterbomber, which is thought to be operated by a retired Russian military pilot, confirmed that an attack had taken place at the Akhtubinsk airfield.

GUR satellite images before and after the attack. Photo: GUR,  Telegram

GUR satellite images before and after the attack. Photo: GUR, Telegram

Neither the Russian Defence Ministry nor the regional authorities in the Astrakhan region have commented on the incident, though the ministry did report shooting down three Ukrainian drones over the Astrakhan region overnight Friday.

The Russian Air Force only has a few Su-57 combat aircraft in service, the GUR said, adding that the Sukhoi Su-57 is the most technologically advanced Russian fighter jet currently in service and is capable of firing both Kh-59 and Kh-69 cruise missiles.

The first Russian military aircraft designed with stealth technology, it was designed to replace the Su-27 twin-engine supersonic super-manoeuvrable fighter aircraft.

BBC News Russian said that the strike — some 600 kilometres inland from the Ukrainian border — suggested that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were increasingly able to mount attacks deep inside Russian territory.

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