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“The enemy is afraid in advance that we will encounter NATO F-16s”: Russian pilots spoke about their work in the special operations zone

Date: April 21, 2024 Time: 19:43:29

Russian pilots talked about their work in the special operations zone

Photo: Alexander KOTS

“The towers have arrived

– I, a young boy, was riding along the road on a motorcycle. Evening, twilight. And a couple of these planes were flying very low, at an extremely low altitude,” “Farmer” gently stroked the fuselage of the Su-25 attack aircraft. – I saw them – and that’s it, I got sick. From that moment I began to look for opportunities, ways to achieve my goal. That’s how it all started.

– Was the road difficult?

– The true path is never easy. The harder it is, the higher you go.

At one of the airfields in the Northern Military District area we met an attack pilot with the call sign “Farmer”. The Su-25 (in the military sphere they are called “Towers”) is a special aircraft in the conditions of a special military operation. It is the one closest to the line of combat contact. And consequently, the risk here is greater.

In recent weeks, Donetsk residents regularly watched as planes attacked enemy positions near Avdeevka. I myself often saw his work from the side, near the front line. At extremely low altitudes, they approach the line of attack, raise their nose slightly and fire rockets at targets that are sent from the ground by forward air controllers. Then they release the thermal decoys and, turning sharply, head to the local airfield to refuel and refuel. I arrived at one of them just during the days of active assault operations on Avdeevka, which were also supported by the aviation of the Southern Group of Forces.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

The pilots are focused on the task, it is best not to bother them with questions. And not taking pictures: not all of them are superstitious, but there are unbreakable traditions that are not customary to break. They walk around the car, run their hands over the components and assemblies, ask the technicians something, nod, and then climb the stairs to the cabin. All conversations are after return.

Su-25s fly in pairs: a leader and a wingman. And they take off one after the other a couple of minutes apart. How they sit.

For Belgorod!

The first “Tower” emerges from the fog almost next to takeoff; Its powerful lights are visible. Gently touch the concrete with the rear chassis and carefully lower the front chassis. In good weather, when there is not so strong a crosswind, it releases a braking parachute. But not at this moment. The follower also sits safely behind the leader.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

– Why this guy? – I ask the pilot after informing the command about the results of the flight.

“Assault aviation is the direct support of troops near the line of contact,” a pilot with the call sign “Traktor” explains to me, who is not so high-flying. – First of all, an old dream, since the hero of my childhood is Gareev Musa Gaisanovich, twice Hero of the Soviet Union. He admired him, read a lot of memoirs and stories, and strived to be a stormtrooper.

“But I have a sharper psyche, or something like that, I like energetic flights that require a lot of attention, redistribution of moral and physical strength,” admits “Farmer”, who sat next. – If I had flown in transport planes (high, long, slow) I would not have been able to get there. In fighter aircraft the particularities are also slightly different. But the assault rifle is mine.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

Surprisingly, all the pilots I spoke to dreamed of their profession literally since childhood. Although it fell precisely during that timeless period, when service in the army and a military career were not so popular. As a rule, this is the influence of books and films about the Great Patriotic War. Because “Feremer” himself is the first soldier in the family. Nothing seemed to predict…

Photo: Alexander KOTS

As we speak under the piercing wind, the technical staff is repairing the car for the next flight, loading rockets into the launchers, on which they write in marker “For Belgorod”, “For the children of Belgorod”. The day before, the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked a peaceful city. While they were walking through the stadium, a mother and her little boy, who was not even a year old, died.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

“There is something to oppose the F-16”

– Have you yourself ever felt the opposition of the enemy?

– The plane is equipped with a warning system, this always happens on any flight. “What happens is that at one point or another you can estimate the probability that the enemy will attack you and you may die,” “Farmer” admits. – You evaluate all these risks and make a decision: continue the mission or stop and return to the airfield. There were times when, approaching the target, the on-board computer issued an order: “missile to the right, missile to the left.” That is, the fact of launch is indicated. Dual feelings. You know you can’t do anything but maneuver. On the other hand, you think that, in principle, if something happens, you will not be far away on foot, Russia is nearby.

– When a rocket is fired at you you don’t feel anything, you just act automatically. You have to save yourself and the plane,” says Traktor. – And after the flight, when you are already on the ground, you process the information, you think about it; Naturally, there is a bit of nervousness.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

– How do you explain to yourself in those moments that not everything is in vain?

“And I’ll tell you a story,” “Tractor” suggested. – In the first months of the war, aerial bombs were used at the plant. And after a few days, we were accidentally met by a special detachment in a helicopter, which directly participated in the hostilities at this plant. We started talking. Question about this plant: who blew it up? Naturally, my leader responded. Emotions overwhelmed the explorer, we hugged each other, and he said: “Guys, thank you very much, if you only knew how many lives you saved!” And after that I decided for myself: the best thing in our work is to save our soldiers!

-Will the appearance of the enemy F-16 complicate this task for us?

“We have something to resist, they understand it very well, they are afraid of our confrontation, this is the first thing,” the “Farmer” bends his finger. – Secondly, there are no competent and fully trained pilots there. Even if there are Westerners in charge, they don’t have our experience. When was the last time NATO pilots conducted real air battles or experienced modern air defense response? The same thing.

You can’t really argue with hard statistics. For two years in the Northern Military District, the enemy did not win a single aerial duel. The competition between fighters invariably ended with an unconditional victory for the Russian flight school. And the appearance of American aircraft is unlikely to change anything in this confrontation. The F-16 is more dangerous not as a fighter, but as a regular carrier of cruise missiles, which it can launch from a greater distance than the Soviet vehicles in service in Ukraine.

“Sting in the rear hemisphere”

With a whistle, cutting the air with their blades, three “turntables” return to the airfield of their mission: two Ka-52 and one Mi-8. The standard composition of a combat mission is two attack vehicles and one service vehicle, with a search and rescue squad “for each firefighter.” The guys also worked at the Avdeevsky direction, but after two years they saw everyone. Now you have the opportunity to compare.

“The nature of fighting, of course, is changing,” says Samara, leaving the cabin. – In the Rabotinsky direction, we flew less and used unguided weapons, since the infantry was often covered and accompanied by huge columns of equipment. That’s where they targeted it with “Whirlwinds.” There our main objective was precisely the destruction of armored targets. We organized the service, the crews were in the air 24 hours a day. And at the first order from the aircraft gunner, from the combat control group, from the command post, we immediately accept the coordinates and fly to the combat mission area.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

– And now?

– Now the enemy has practically stopped bringing any armored vehicles closer to the combat contact line, and all its offensive actions in the Yuzhnodonetsk, Severodonetsk and Zaporozhye directions have also stopped. Therefore, for now we are engaged in the systematic destruction of enemy personnel.

– Has it become easier thanks to the reduction of Western aid to Ukraine?

– I wouldn’t say that. The enemy constantly uses some new tactics, ambushes, they are already waiting for us, they are finding us. Yesterday, as we were leaving, the onboard defense complex told us that the Stinger man-portable anti-aircraft missile system was attacking the rear hemisphere. Three days ago, the same thing in the same maneuver. The guys there are not stupid, they work in the same way on mistakes and improve in terms of combat, adapting to the current realities of war. As we are.

Photo: Alexander KOTS

-Who overtakes who?

– Well, since we’re talking to you, let’s go better.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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