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Russia suspends use of A-50 aircraft near border after two losses – British intelligence

Russia has lost several A-50s since the start of the full-scale war

After the loss of the second A-50 long-range radar detection and control aircraft, Russia has probably stopped flying them. This will continue until internal terrorist investigations reveal the reasons that led to the ineffectiveness of the protection of these aircraft, as well as ways to reduce the threat posed by Ukrainian air defense.

This is stated in the British intelligence report. As noted, the Russian army will look for ways to compensate for the loss of the A-50, possibly by modernizing other aircraft or returning previously mothballed aircraft to service.

"The loss of this capability, which ensures the daily command and control of Russian air operations, is very likely to significantly degrade the situational awareness of aircrews. This is a gap in capabilities that Russia cannot afford over the disputed airspace of eastern and southern Ukraine," the report says.

The intelligence emphasizes that this capability gap is unacceptable for Russia.

"It is likely that Russia will have to explore options for bridging this gap, including repurposing aircraft and taking greater risks to provide the effective air support that its ground forces need but are likely not receiving," the Defense Ministry said.

It is also noted that with the resumption of A-50 operations, aircraft and crew fatigue will almost inevitably increase, and the fleet will become even more stretched.

"It is quite realistic that Russia may try to return previously mothballed A-50 aircraft to service to mitigate this problem," British intelligence believes.

Earlier, the spokesman for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ihnat, said that the Russian occupation forces had reduced the intensity of the use of A-50 long-range radar detection and control aircraft. The enemy has drawn the appropriate conclusions after losing two such aircraft over the past two months.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, before the start of the full-scale war, the Russian Federation had only nine reconnaissance aircraft: three A-50s and six A-50Us. The occupiers use them as correctors during massive shelling of Ukraine, and one such aircraft costs at least $330 million.

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