Russia Strikes Ukrainian Su-24MR Facility with Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile

Su-24MRs are modified to carry SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow missiles
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  • 10:36 AM, June 19, 2024
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Russia Strikes Ukrainian Su-24MR Facility with Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile
SU-24MR aircraft

Russia has struck a Ukrainian bunker facility housing Su-24MR aircraft modified to carry SCALP-EG / Storm Shadow missiles, on June 14.

The strike, executed with Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles, hit two Su-24MR front-line bombers modified to carry SCALP-EG, also known as "Storm Shadow," stealthy tactical cruise missiles, according to reports from the Russian Arms Telegram channel.

The Su-24MR aircraft, dating back to their introduction in 1983, are specialized derivatives of the Su-24 Fencer, adapted for tactical reconnaissance. Despite their age, these Soviet-era warplanes remain formidable long-range attack platforms, recently modified to carry the British-supplied Storm Shadow missiles.

The strike comes at a crucial time, as the Italian Ministry of Defense is poised to supply Ukraine with over 100 additional Storm Shadow missiles as part of a new military-technical support package. The loss of two aircraft capable of deploying these missiles is a considerable setback for the Ukrainian Air Force, which has not yet received or deployed any F-16AM/BM fighters, Russian Weapons reported.

The destruction of the aircraft shelters was achieved using a 500-kilogram high-explosive penetrating fragmentation warhead, capable of breaching thick reinforced concrete. The precision and effectiveness of this strike underline the continuing strategic challenges faced by Ukrainian forces in maintaining their aerial combat capabilities.

In May 2023, Ukrainian Defense Minister Olexii Reznikov had shared images of a modified Ukrainian Su-24 Fencer aircraft outfitted with the Storm Shadow missile. The Su-24MR, is among the few Ukrainian aircraft capable of carrying the nearly 2,900-pound Storm Shadow missile. Other Ukrainian jets, such as the MiG-29 and Su-25, lack the capacity to transport such heavy armaments, which are limited to around 1,100 pounds.

The Su-24’s ability to carry armaments exceeding 3,300 pounds makes it, along with the Su-27 Flanker, one of the few viable platforms for deploying the Storm Shadow in Ukraine’s arsenal. The loss of these two aircraft significantly diminishes Ukraine's capacity to conduct long-range precision strikes, an essential component of their defensive and offensive operations.

Russia Strikes Ukrainian Su-24MR Facility with Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile
MiG-31 carrying Kinzhal hypersonic weapon
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