Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence (HUR) confirmed Wednesday, June 12, that Friday’s drone strike on Russia’s Akhtubinsk airfield damaged two Russian Su-57 stealth fighters – the first confirmed hit on Russia’s prized multirole fighters – where one suffered “significant damage.”

“We can now say that one Su-57 suffered significant damage, and the other one suffered lighter damage and may be possible to restore,” said HUR spokesperson Andriy Yusov on television.

However, HUR did not claim responsibility for the strike.

On Sunday, Kyiv Post reported that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian Su-57 multirole stealth fighter during an overnight drone strike on Friday evening, which was confirmed by satellite imagery.

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The Akhtubinsk airfield is located in Russia’s Astrakhan region, at least 460 km from the Ukrainian border.

The Sukhoi Su-57 twin-engine multirole fighter (NATO code name Felon) is Russia’s first and only operational stealth fighter. It experienced a 10-year development hell before officially entering service with the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in 2020.

Only 11 Su-57s were known to exist as of November 2023, though Russia’s state media said Russia’s VKS planned to receive 76 Su-57s by 2027 – an ambitious target considering its inability to access avionics used to build the aircraft due to Western sanctions.

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A recent Kyiv Post analysis also highlighted some of the shortcomings of the Su-57 compared to its Western counterparts.

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