New Footage Claims To Show The Drone Attack On The Russian A-50U Aircraft In Belarus

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A-50
Screenshot from the footage about to land on the Russian A-50 SATCOM antenna dome.

Ultimately, one other clip has been launched, supposedly exhibiting the assault on the Mainstay radar jet.

As reported yesterday, on Feb. 26, 2023, the Belarusian partisan group, BYPOL, claimed a Russian Beriev A-50U Mainstay airborne early warning & management plane had been broken in a drone assault at Machulishchy Airbase, Belarus, close to Minsk. Subsequent the high-rez satellite tv for pc photographs launched by Maxar within the following days confirmed the A-50U just about intact on the apron of the Belarusian air base. As defined, whereas they appeared to rule out heavy injury was inflicted to the plane, the imagery didn’t show the precious “flying radar” hadn’t be broken ultimately by the assault.

A clip BYPOL launched on Mar. 2, confirmed a small quadcopter drone approaching the A-50U, touchdown on the radar dome of the plane and taking off once more with none signal of explosion: in different phrases, the video simply uncovered a safety hole and the shortcoming of the native defenses to detect and counter a kamikaze drone, however didn’t actually corroborate the speculation of an precise assault.

Curiously, earlier right this moment, one more footage has been launched. You’ll be able to see the small drone as it’s launched from a spot apparently situated simply exterior the perimeter fence of the airport, will get near the radar jet, overflies the entrance part of the plane (doubtless on the lookout for a handy touchdown spot) and ultimately lands on the SATCOM antenna of the Mainstay.

At this level, the video feed ends, suggesting a detonation was triggered making the stream unavailable when the drone touched down. The breaking within the video hyperlink brought on by an explosion would match with the claims of the BYPOL group however with can’t make sure that is precisely what we’re seeing within the clip.

Due to this fact, this newest video, that seems to be real, *would possibly* show a drone assault was carried out. Nonetheless, it’s not clear why BYPOL didn’t launch it earlier, however determined to publish the opposite one which simply confirmed a touchdown (or failed try to detonate the drone after touchdown on the radar dish) and subsequent return.

The extent of the eventual injury brought about to the plane, if any, can’t be assessed with the at present out there photographs, though it’s most likely restricted or rapidly repairable. Let’s not overlook that the focused A-50 allegedly returned to flight some 4 days after the assault, as claimed by the Belarusian MOD. Belarus authorities additionally launched some undated footage together with a clip of the plane taxiing at Machulishchy Airbase suggesting (a return to) regular ops.

Summing up, primarily based on the out there info we might speculate the next:

  1. a drone assault could have been carried out as claimed by BYPOL. The assault could be proven within the video launched on Mar. 3.
  2. the (doable) drone assault was most likely preceded by a failed try or a reconnaissance mission (proven in first video, printed on Mar. 2.)
  3. the satellite tv for pc imagery printed Maxar could present some restricted injury within the SATCOM antenna space that may very well be in line with a small explosion.
  4. The plane could have suffered restricted injury and will have been repaired and returned to energetic service as affirmed by the Belarusian MOD.

Once more, it’s only a guess and with so many fuzzy particulars the video remains to be inconclusive in offering proof that an precise assault was carried out.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse navy aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and plenty of others, protecting aviation, protection, battle, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.



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