As reported on social media (X/@DI_Ukraine), the government of Ukraine, and multiple media outlets, on June 8th, Ukraine claims to have successfully targeted a Russian Su-57 Felon Fighter parked at an airfield with three (3) kamikaze drones. The drones were able to evade Russian air defenses and strike a target at Akhtubinsk Airfield in the Astrakhan region of the Russian Federation. The airfield is approximately 589 kilometers (366 miles) from the frontline in Ukraine.

According to Airforce Technology, the Sukhoi Su-57 Felon, developed by United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), a subsidiary of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec, is a fifth-generation, stealth, multi-role fighter jet designed to engage various land, airborne, and maritime targets.

The Su-57 Felon was engineered by the Sukhoi Design Bureau within UAC and conducted its inaugural flight at the Gromov Flight Research Institute’s airfield in October 2022. During this 56-minute flight, the aircraft demonstrated efficient performance. Additionally, it underwent successful combat testing in Syria in 2018.

As the primary operator of the aircraft, the Russian Air Force deployed the Su-57 Felon in special military operations, including those involving long-range air-to-surface or air-to-air missile launches against Ukraine in 2022.

 

Overhead imagery of before and after photographs of the area where the Su-57 was parked at the airfield
Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (@DI_Ukraine) post on X- June 9, 2024 (Image Credit- @DI_Ukraine)

 

The long-range threat of drones to defense assets and critical infrastructure was recently highlighted as a concern when the United States Air Force released a request for information (RFI) for Counter-UAS Barriers for the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Post Image- 5th Generation Su-57 at the International Aviation and Space Salon, August 30, 2019 (Post Image Credit: Adobe Stock by fifg)