Ukraine's Defense Forces Down Russian A-50 Aircraft Using Soviet-Era S-200 System

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.24 - 2024 8:41 AM CET

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Photo: ua.gov
Photo: ua.gov
Ukraine's Defense Forces Down Russian A-50 Aircraft Using Soviet-Era S-200 System.

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The Defense Forces of Ukraine have successfully downed a Russian A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft. This remarkable feat was achieved using the Soviet-era anti-aircraft system S-200, highlighting the ingenuity and resilience of Ukrainian forces in the ongoing conflict.

According to sources within the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) who spoke to Ukrainska Pravda, the A-50 was targeted and brought down by the long-range S-200 system.

The S-200, a product of Soviet military engineering, has been in production for over 60 years and has seen several modernizations over the decades.

The usage of S-200 systems by Ukraine has become a topic of interest, especially after reports in July 2023 of strikes on facilities within Russia and occupied Ukrainian territories. These strikes were conducted using missiles launched from the S-200 systems. The Russians have noted that the Ukrainians have adapted these air defense systems for offensive purposes, utilizing 5B28 missiles to attack ground targets.

Further insights into Ukraine's innovative tactics were provided by Ihor Romanenko, the former deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who is responsible for air defense. Romanenko disclosed that Ukrainian soldiers have been trained to utilize S-200 systems for striking ground targets, marking a strategic shift in the utilization of this defense technology.

This operational versatility has been acknowledged by UK intelligence, confirming that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have repurposed the S-200 as a ground attack ballistic missile. This adaptation underscores the strategic flexibility and resourcefulness of the Ukrainian military in leveraging existing technology to meet current defense and offensive needs.

The downing of the Russian A-50 aircraft on February 23 stands as a testament to the effective use of the S-200 system by Ukraine's Defense Forces, demonstrating a significant capability in the face of ongoing challenges and hostilities.

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