Ukraine claims to have downed Russia's Tu-22M3 bomber. Video shows jet in flames | World News - Hindustan Times

Ukraine claims to have downed Russia's Tu-22M3 bomber. Video shows jet in flames

Apr 19, 2024 07:16 PM IST

Russia said the Tu-22M3 bomber plane “crashed due to a technical malfunction” in a remote area hundreds of kilometres away from the Ukrainian border.

Ukrainian military claimed on Friday that its anti-missile units successfully intercepted a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber plane. However, Russia rejected the claim, asserting that the aircraft had crashed due to a technical malfunction while returning to its base.

 Tu-22M3 by Tupolev is a supersonic bomber for targeting sea and ground-based threats with guided missiles.
Tu-22M3 by Tupolev is a supersonic bomber for targeting sea and ground-based threats with guided missiles.

According to the Russian defence ministry, the warplane crashed in a remote area of the southern Stavropol region, which is located hundreds of kilometres away from the Ukrainian border.

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The ministry reported that three crew members were rescued after they were ejected from the aircraft, while the search for the fourth crew member is on. However, Stavropol Governor Vladimir Vladimirov said one of the rescued pilots passed away.

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The purported video showing the Russian bomber being downed circulated widely on the internet. However, Hindustan Times could not immediately verify the authenticity of the footage.

5 points on Tu-22M3 'Backfire' bomber

1. The Tu-22M3, designed by Tupolev, is a long-range supersonic missile carrier bomber, intended for the destruction of both sea- and ground-based targets using guided missiles and aerial bombs. NATO refers to it as the "Backfire."

2. Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of frequently deploying Tu-22M3s for bombing missions in Ukraine. These planes are equipped to carry Kh-22 cruise missiles. The Kh-22 missiles possess dual-capability, enabling them to carry either nuclear or conventional warheads, although nuclear weapons have not been utilised by Russia in Ukraine.

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3. The Tu-22M3 prototype first flew in 1977. A modernised version, the Tu-22M3M, boasting enhanced tactical effectiveness and an expanded operational radius, took its first flight in December 2018.

4. Constructed from aluminium alloys, high-strength heat-resistant steel, titanium, and magnesium alloys, the Tu-22M3 features variable-swept low wings, comprising both fixed and movable panels capable of sweeping through angles ranging from 20 to 65 degrees.

5. According to the 2024 Military Balance report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Russia's air force operates 57 Tu-22M3s.

Russian airforce vs West's advanced missile system

Russia's air force holds significant superiority over Ukraine's, yet the advanced missile systems from Kyiv's Western allies pose a considerable threat.

ALSO READ- US aid for Ukraine won't change military situation: Russia

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has repeatedly appealed for increased Western air defence systems. Ukrainian authorities anticipate a significant Russian offensive in the upcoming summer months.

(Inputs from Reuters and AP)

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