• On 14 May 2024 the Ukrainian Military conducted attacks against Russian military targets on the illegally held territory of Crimea. Initial reporting suggests that elements of an SA-21 Air Defence missile battery at Belbek Airfield have been destroyed including a GRAVE STONE radar and launchers. Additionally, reporting indicates that at least two MiG-31BMFOXHOUND C aircraft have been destroyed on the ground.
  • This is the fourth time in the last month that the Russian Air Defence in Crimea has suffered losses, with Ukrainian Armed Forces previously launching successful actions against Ai-Petri Air Defence Radar site on 12May 2024, and at Dzhankoy airfield on 16 April 2024, and 29 April 2024. The cumulative effect of these strikes has seen an overall degradation in the ability of Russia to defend the airspace around Crimea; while simultaneously demonstrating Ukraine's ability to impact Russian AirDefence operations.
  • It is highly likely that this will lead to Russia having to disperse air assets to ensure survivability or risk losing more aircraft, while having to relocate Air Defence assets from elsewhere. The reduction of A-50U MAINSTAY aircraft coverage, and dispersal from Crimean airfields, will likely increase the flight hours and sortie rates of fighter aircraft patrols to gap-fill thecoverage, which will lead to increased maintenance issues for their fleets.

British Defence Intelligence.

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