A Russian A-50 radar plane was damaged in Belarus
A Russian A-50 radar plane was damaged in Belarus
© Mil.ru

| Gaétan Powis | Source : Air&Cosmos 276 mots

A Russian A-50 radar plane was damaged in Belarus

An air attack reportedly took place in Belarus, damaging or destroying a Russian Beriev A-50 airborne surveillance and command aircraft. The attack was allegedly carried out by opponents of the Belarusian regime.

An attack

On February 26, several explosions were heard in the vicinity of Machulishchy Air Base (Minsk, Belarus). Initial reports claim that an A-50 Mainstay Airborne Warning and Command (AEW&C) aircraft was damaged or even totally destroyed. This aircraft belongs to the Russian Air Force and is deployed to support Russian aircraft engaged in Ukraine or during exercises with the Belarusian Air Force. As a reminder, the Beriev A-50 Mainstay is based on the Il-76 transport aircraft but modified with the addition of numerous sensors and in particular an E-821 Shmel/izdeliye R radar (effective range of 230 kilometers, ability to detect large objects at over 350 kilometers). For comparison, the Air Force's four E-3F Sentry aircraft, commonly nicknamed AWACS, have a radar with a detection range of more than 400 kilometers.

By opponents?

Several posts on social networks (here, there, or in the Twitter feed below) suggest that two drones dropped two light munitions on the radome and the front part of the aircraft (cockpit and refueling boom). The BYPOL organization, which is opposed to the regime of Belarusian President Lukashenko, claims that members of the "Victory Plan" were behind the attack.

As of this writing, there are no available images of the Mainstay in question. We will probably have to wait for satellite images of the area to confirm or not this attack.

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