Russia announced it shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet that could carry US missiles

Russia claims to have shot down two MiG-29 fighters converted by Ukraine to use AGM-88 HARM missiles provided by the US in the fighting in Mykolaiv province.

“Russian fighter jets shot down two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters converted to carry HARM missiles in the Novoukrainka and Bashtanka regions of the southern province of Mykolaiv,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. September 25th.

General Konashenkov added that Russian forces intercepted 12 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and 21 rockets of various types from Ukraine, mainly HIMARS rockets. However, he did not specify what kind of weapon Russia used to shoot down the Ukrainian MiG-29.

The Ukrainian military has not commented on the information.

Ukraine MiG-29 fighter carrying HARM missile in the image published on August 30.  Photo: Twitter/KpsZSU.

Ukraine MiG-29 fighter carrying HARM missile in the image published on August 30. Photo: Twitter/KpsZSU.

The Ukrainian Air Force is deploying US-made AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles on many converted Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters. The planes don’t seem to have to do much editing, just install the HARM-specific pylons and change the data in the fire control computer.

Military experts believe that it is likely that the HARM missile was launched by the Ukrainian aircraft in the coordinate attack mode. Accordingly, data on the area of ​​suspected enemy air defense radar will be loaded into the missile before the aircraft takes off, the bullet will fly to the given coordinates and find the source of the radar. It will dive into the area of ​​​​the radar beam or self-destruct if the target is not detected.

The AGM-88 HARM is an air-to-ground missile designed to track beams of radiation from ground-based radar stations. It was developed to replace the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-78 SARM missiles, which entered service in the US military in 1985. Each original AGM-88 shell costs $ 284,000, is 4.1 m long, weighs 355 kg, carries a 66 kg fragmentation warhead, has a range of 110 km and a maximum speed of nearly 2,300 km / h.

The HARM missile is considered an important tool for Ukraine to deal with the dense air defense network deployed by Russia in the war, limiting the threat to Kiev’s aircraft and allowing them to operate more flexibly compared to before. The version and number of HARM missiles provided by the US to Ukraine is unknown, but it has appeared in two aid packages from Washington to Kiev and has been used many times on the battlefield.

The US is the largest military aid to Ukraine with many heavy weapons, including HIMARS rockets, M777 howitzers and drones. Washington has pledged about $14 billion in military aid to Kiev. In early September, the White House asked Congress to allocate an additional $11.7 billion in military assistance to Ukraine by early 2023.

Vu Anh (Theo RT, Reuters)

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