Russia has 8 serviceable A-50s left: DIU head Budanov explains how the loss of an A-50 will affect enemy aviation
The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, said that after the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed a Russian A-50 over the Azov Sea, Russia has very few such long-range radar detection and control aircraft left. Only eight of them are now in good condition.
Budanov said this in an interview with the Financial Times. "The A-50 was shot down and exploded... The IL-22 was heavily damaged and, unfortunately for us, it managed to make an emergency landing in Anapa," he said.
The destruction of one aircraft and severe damage to the other was a significant blow to the enemy air force.
According to Budanov, the loss of the A-50 is likely to affect Russia's ability to operate around the clock and maintain communications in the conflict zone.
It should be reminded that A-50 surveillance aircraft are very valuable to the Russians. They help aim missiles during massive shelling of Ukraine and are worth at least $330 million.
A very valuable and trained crew is also a huge loss for the Kremlin as the A-50 aircraft had about 5 crew members and 10 tactical crew members.