Forbes has reported that Ukraine may soon exhaust its top-tier air-defense missiles due to their role in shooting down Russian fighter jets.

The Ukrainian Air Force claims to have downed 10 Russian warplanes in just ten days, including nine of the Russian Air Force’s top Sukhoi Su-34 and Sukhoi Su-35 fighter bombers, along with a rare Beriev A-50 radar plane.

According to Forbes, this represents a significant blow to Russian forces, as they struggle to keep up with production due to foreign sanctions, managing only a couple of dozen new warplanes a year. The Russians are losing jets at a rate 20 times faster than they can replace them.

“How the Ukrainians are shooting down so many jets is unclear,” the publication reported.

One possibility is that the Ukrainian Air Force has deployed American-made Patriot missile launchers within mobile air-defense groups strategically positioned along the 600-mile front line of Russia’s two-year full-scale war on Ukraine. This allows them to ambush Russian jets with 90-mile-range PAC-2 missiles before swiftly relocating to avoid retaliation.

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However, the downing of the A-50 plane at approximately 120 miles suggests the involvement of a longer-range missile system. The Ukrainian air force may have brought out Cold War-era S-200 missiles (NATO: SA-5 “Gammon”) from long-term storage, Forbes pointed out.

Additionally, it appears that the Ukrainians have moved some of their 25-mile-range NASAMS surface-to-air missile batteries closer to the front line. This was evident when Russian forces discovered and destroyed one of the first NASAMS launchers near the southern city of Zaporizhzhia on or before Monday.

WATCH: HUR Special Forces Destroy Russian ‘Strela-10’ Air Defense System
Other Topics of Interest

WATCH: HUR Special Forces Destroy Russian ‘Strela-10’ Air Defense System

On Sunday, April 14, the day celebrated as Russian Air Defense Forces Day, HUR fighters struck one of Moscow’s “Strela-10” anti-aircraft missile system

Forbes speculates that Ukraine’s air-defense success may be attributed to deploying all these systems and others more aggressively.

The risk in this strategy is that the Patriot and NASAMS batteries use US-made missiles, and Ukraine reportedly hasn’t received any ammunition from the United States since late December.

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“In other words, Ukraine eventually – possibly soon – will run out of its best air-defense missiles,” Forbes noted.

Forbes reports that Russian force actions, or lack thereof, could also contribute to their increased aviation losses. After the costly victory over the Ukrainian troops in Avdiivka, where they ran out of ammunition, the Russian military is now advancing against other depleted Ukrainian garrisons.

Taking advantage of this situation, the Russian Air Force has intensified its sorties, flying closer to the front line and using glide bombs to suppress Ukrainian troops for their ground force advancement.

As explained by the Ukrainian Center for Defense Strategies, this tactic has resulted in more Russian aircraft losses but provides their ground troops with a significant firepower advantage.

Furthermore, the increase in Russian attack sorties has made Ukrainian air defenders more vigilant, resulting in more successful interceptions of Russian planes.

Another factor aiding the Ukrainian defense is the diminishing radar coverage of the Russian Air Force. With the destruction of one A-50 radar plane last year and the downing of two more this year, the Ukrainians have significantly reduced the effectiveness of the Russian radar network, creating blind spots for Russian pilots

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“The Ukrainian Air Force apparently aims to use its last few Patriot and NASAMS missiles to deplete the Russian Air Force and prevent future surges in bombing sorties,” Forbes added.

Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force is intensifying its bombing campaigns against Ukrainian garrisons, aiming to weaken their defenses and assist Russian ground troops in gaining territory. This strategy is employed before the Sukhoi squadrons face depletion due to a lack of available planes and experienced pilots, and other aircrew and ground crew.

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Comments (5)

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John
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Ukraine needs to do what it has to do. Saving these missiles will unfortunately not help. They are most useful at shooting down planes at the moment.

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Peremoga Lmfao
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The days of failed illegal US/Ukrainian terrorist regime and numbered.
God bless Russia for killing Nazis and destroying Western junk.

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Lucy Price
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Mike Johnson is wrong to not bring the Ukraine bill to a vote. He and Trump have no feeling for Human Life. Just like Putin. This is so dangerous.

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Imokru2
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Forbes is speculating and is wrong. Blame the losses on a lone lurking F-16.

Peremoga Lmfao
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@Imokru2, A lurking F-16, huh? You know Russian satellites can see even when Zelensky is snorting his cocaine, right? If you think that F-16 could just hide, you are extremely naive. Watching too many Hollywood movies maybe?
In fact, F-16 wouldn't even dare to get anywhere near Ukraine. It would be immediatelly targetted as a #1 priority target and destroyed.

John
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@Peremoga Lmfao, Keep drinking your vodka. When are you mobilized? Putin needs more meat.

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PATRIOT
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Well, I think that it is not 10 downed jets - but mainly ukrainian propaganda. Anyone can say the numbers. Russians said 440000 Ukrainians died. Is that true?

Ukrainska
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@PATRIOT, you are just the wrong kind of patriot
you are more of a troll
there is proof for the 10 downings

PATRIOT
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@Ukrainska, If you don't believe that your state is feeding you with propaganda and lies to you, that's your business. Just to be clear - I don't support Russia. I think that their attack on your country is a crime. However, your media/government is lying just like the Russian one so it is important to know that!

Chris
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@PATRIOT, there are literally pics and videos of the shot down planes all over twitter and telegram. Russian telegram channels like Fighter-bomber acknowledge the losses but claim some were shot down by their own air defenses. A dubious claim at best. Perhaps you're not familiar with OSINT or open source intelligence? There are acounts that track literally tens of thousands of destroyed, damaged, and captured vehicles. All with identifying photographic evidence and geolocation, or precise gps coordinates of where the pics/video were taken.

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John
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@PATRIOT, aka MRGA troll 'Maddy' is is back pushing putin falsehoods.

Anyone notice the knee jerk Kremlin reaction to any allied publication of Russian losses is "yeah well we took out 2-5 times that amount of Ukraines stuff."

We all know russia doesn't track deaths because they are not worth counting to putin. 'Putin doesn't care'. Russian moms want their duped sons back..."putin doesn't care", Russian casualties left to rot even in occupied territory ...'putin doesn't care'. Political opponents falsely imprisoned and murdered... 'putin doesn't care'. He does not count deaths because he does not care. Since no one in russia is allowed to report truth, the public there also have no clue on true losses. These numbers simply do accurately not exist in russia.

Meanwhile in the democratic nations where truth is always accessible to those who seek it. There are many credible sources to track war losses. Free societies value human life so they track related statistics accurately.

There are many many credible sources that indicate the number of russian dead and wounded are multiple times what the Russian Gremlin regime reports.

Some sources even tack obituaries in putin controlled media and even these super conservative numbers are multiples of what the gremlin says.

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