5 Russian Aircraft ‘Shot Down’ In 5 Minutes By Patriot Missiles Over 5 Months Ago: Ukrainian Air Force

Back in May, the Ukrainian air defense troops managed to shoot down five Russian aircraft inside Russian territory, sending a chilling message to the Kremlin. The Ukrainian Air Force has revealed that the US-made Patriot missile defense system achieved the unprecedented feat.

The spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ihnat, recently revealed that during a furious counterattack in May this year, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down five Russian planes in five minutes. The barrage, he asserted, was carried out using the Patriot missile defense system, Ukrainian media outlet Novynarnia reported.

The official further elaborated that among the five aircraft meticulously brought down were a Su-34, a Su-35, two rare Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare helicopters, and a regular Mi-8 helicopter. All of these aircraft were shot down in Bryansk Oblast, bordering Ukraine.

Inhat told the publication on November 27 that it was a genius operation led by the Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force. Speaking in his native language, Inhat said, “The [Ukrainian] Patriot SAM units, with their unorthodox and decisive actions, destroyed five aircraft in five minutes in the Bryansk direction from where they launched guided missiles against our northern territories.”

This is significant given that Su-35 Flanker-E has been one of the most extensively deployed aircraft of the Russian Air Force in the ongoing conflict. And also the most feared. Ukrainian fighter pilots flying dangerous missions on their Soviet-legacy warplanes admitted that their biggest challenge was the formidable Russian Su-35 fighter jet.

File Image: Patriot missile defense systems.

Shortly before the Patriot shot down five Russian aircraft, some Ukrainian air defense operators who had completed training on the new PAC-3 Patriot missile defense systems also stated that the Su-35 was their “dream target.”

As EurAsian Times had discussed extensively in a previous report, advanced Russian fighters, like the Su-35, had been deployed together with the Su-34 Fullback along the frontlines to fire guided aerial bombs on Ukraine, for which the latter has little defense.

Su-35 missile Ukraine
File Image: Su-35S firing long-range R-37M Missile (Platform X)

This allowed the Russian jets to man the frontlines, carry out attacks, and shoot down hostile jets without entering the Ukrainian air space, which has been saturated by air defense.

However, the shootdown by the Patriots on the fateful date of May 13 is likely to have taken the Russians by surprise and forced them to change Russia’s security calculations. 

The Killers Of Russia’s Mighty Su-35

The Patriot missile defense went on to achieve some more victories shortly. For instance, Inhat said that foreign-donated Patriot systems downed other Russian aircraft after the events of May 13, which caused Russia to change its aerial tactics.  

Taiwan and US renew Patriot-3 missile service contract
Patriot-3 missile

“Over the Black Sea, another Su-35 was shot down [by a Patriot system]. It occurred at some point following the events of May 13 in the Bryansk region. And after that, they [Russian aircraft] understood it was risky there and that they may be shot down, so they temporarily ceased flying there.”

After the May 13 incident, Ukrainian officials had also claimed that the Patriot missile defense acquired from the West had shot down Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missile, which has essentially been projected as invincible by Moscow. In response to these claims, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that the Kinzhal had destroyed a Patriot defense battery.

Recounting this, Inhat said, “We [have downed] 15… ‘Daggers’ [Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic air-launched ballistic missiles altogether]… plus dozens of… ballistic missiles flying towards Kyiv.” 

The Patriot missile defense system, supplied to Ukraine after an extended reluctance by the West, has occupied the center stage in the war-torn country. A typical Patriot battery consists of an AN/MPQ-65 or AN/MPQ-53 radar, the necessary fire control, communications, and other support components, and up to eight launchers mounted on trailers. Ukraine has reportedly received two Patriot batteries from Germany and the US.

Ukraine seems to be claiming it downed Russian aircraft inside Russia with a Patriot battery.
A Ukrainian Air Force video screenshot captures images of three Russian helicopters and two Russian fighters painted on the side of a Patriot air defense battery.

Although the Ukrainian Air Force admitted to Patriot downing the five mighty Russian aircraft only recently, a video released by the service in early July suggested that the heroic shoot-down was the work of a Patriot, as reported by EurAsian Times. In the released footage, a Patriot battery was seen with depictions of two Russian fighter jets and three Russian helicopters adorned with inscriptions of “May 13.”

Meanwhile, the latest admissions come at a time when Ukraine has been battered by massive Russian aerial strikes and drone attacks as the two countries enter yet another winter with the hostilities seeing no signs of abating.

Ukrainian officials announced that Russia launched its biggest Shahed drone strike on the capital, Kyiv, on November 25 since the beginning of its invasion. According to reports, the bulk of the Iranian-made drones were reportedly caught in the Kyiv region. However, 71 of the drones were captured by air defenses in six other areas of Ukraine. 

Ukraine, for its part, has been begging allies in NATO to provide the nation with additional air defenses to prevent another winter like the one that ended with widespread power outages due to ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. 

Germany and France are spearheading the formation of a new 20-nation coalition centered on ground-based air defense to fortify Ukraine’s defenses against Russian drone and missile threats. Therefore, additional Patriot batteries could eventually be outbound for Kyiv.