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May, 21
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    Russia using new Su-57 jets against Ukraine

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    Russia has been flying its new Su-57 jets against, but not over, Ukraine say the British Ministry of Defence.

    According to the latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine published today by the British Ministry of Defence, since at least June 2022, Russian Aerospace Forces have almost certainly used Su-57 FELON to conduct missions against Ukraine.

    The Su-57 is equipped with advanced avionics and a range of modern weapons, including long-range air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. It is also designed to have stealth capabilities, which makes it difficult to detect on radar.

    The missions have likely been limited to flying over Russian territory, launching long range air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine.

    READ MORE: Russians demand return of Liaoning – the Soviet aircraft carrier that China bought from Ukraine

    As this is the only known FELON base, these aircraft have likely been involved in operations against Ukraine. Russia is highly likely prioritising avoiding the reputational damage, reduced export prospects, and the compromise of sensitive technology from any loss of FELON over Ukraine.

    This, say the UK, is symptomatic of Russia’s continued risk-averse approach to employing its air force in the war.

    The full update is below:

    “Since at least June 2022, Russian Aerospace Forces have almost certainly used Su-57 FELON to conduct missions against Ukraine. FELON is Russia’s most advanced fifth-generation supersonic combat jet, employing stealth technologies and highly advanced avionics.

    These missions have likely been limited to flying over Russian territory, launching long range air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine.

    Recent commercially available imagery shows five FELON parked at Akhtubinsk Air Base, which hosts the 929th Flight Test Centre. As this is the only known FELON base, these aircraft have likely been involved in operations against Ukraine.

    Russia is highly likely prioritising avoiding the reputational damage, reduced export prospects, and the compromise of sensitive technology which would come from any loss of FELON over Ukraine. This is symptomatic of Russia’s continued risk-averse approach to employing its air force in the war.”

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