Ukrainian Air Force Has Lost 18 Combat Aircraft in Fighting With Rebels Since April 2014
Ukraine’s military has lost 18 aircraft since April 7 as part of the government’s efforts to rid eastern Ukraine of Kremlin-backed insurgents and Russian mercenaries, resulting in 89 deaths, and causing at least $250 million in damages, a statistical analysis by UNIAN news agency states.
Sixteen of the aircraft were shot down, while a Su-25 bomber jet crash landed in Dnipropetrovsk, and a Mi-8 helicopter crashed in Kharkiv Oblast for unexplained reasons.
According to UNIAN, a total of 10 helicopters were lost: five Mi-8s and five Mi-24s.
Eight planes perished: one An-30B, one An-26, one Il-76, one Su-24M, two MiG-29s, and two Su-25s.
The worst death toll took place on June 14 when 49 people died aboard an Il-76 transport plane. An additional 26 people died aboard five Mi-8 helicopters. Eleven servicemen were also wounded aboard aircraft and two remain missing in action.
Financially, Ukraine lost $75 million from five lost Mi-24 helicopters, according UNIAN’s calculations. An additional $60 million worth of damage was sustained over the two downed MiG-29 jets.
According to the Defense Ministry, two Su-25 jets were shot down while returning from completed missions.
The latest aircraft to get shot down was a Mi-24 helicopter on Aug. 20 over Luhansk Oblast. All the crew members died, stated National Security and Defense Council spokesperson Andriy Lysenko without specifying how many. Then on Aug. 17, pro-Russia separatists shot down the second MiG-29 Fulcrum in eastern Ukraine. The first was shot down on Aug. 7. Both were assigned to the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade.
The majority of aircraft were downed using shoulder-fired rocket launchers and anti-aircraft installations, according to various government agencies. The National Security and Defense Council has also accused Russia of shooting down aircraft from inside its territory with aircraft and radar-guided surface-to-air missile systems. Kremlin-backed insurgents are suspected of having used a “Buk” …read more
Source:: Defence Blog (Air)