Ukrainian armed forces shared images of a crashed Russian fighter on Sunday, later identified as the Sukhoi Su-35 “Flanker-E.”
The Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft crashed in the country’s eastern Kharkiv region, reportedly near the town of Izium. It has not been revealed why it crashed, though it appears it came down intact and caught fire.
“It’s not even a Su-35 plane is on fire, it’s the whole Russian empire,” the Ukrainian Air Force Command wrote in a Facebook post.
— Генеральний штаб ЗСУ (@GeneralStaffUA) April 3, 2022
Adviser to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko said that the pilot managed to eject safely and has been captured.
The single-seat canard-less aircraft was reportedly identified through its wingtip-mounted electronic countermeasures systems, which other VKS Su-27/30 versions lack.
First Su-35 Downing
This is the first reported loss of the 4++ generation supermaneuverable aircraft pressed into the conflict about a month ago to neutralize Ukrainian air defense capabilities.
There are 103 Flanker-Es in the Russian Aerospace Forces, featuring Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar, Infra-Red Search and Track, and the Khibiny radar jamming system.
One of the two aircraft reportedly deployed in the conflict has been captured armed with Zvezda/Tactical Missile Corporation Kh-31PM anti-radiation missiles along with R-77 and R-73 air-to-air missiles.
Ukrainian forces claim to have shot down nearly 150 Russian aircraft since the war began on February 24.