THAT’S EMBARRASSING: Su-57 Felon Struck Deep Inside Russia, Ukraine’s Spy Agency Claims. “Both Ukrainian and Russian sources say that for the first time an Su-57 Felon, Moscow’s most advanced combat aircraft, was struck.”

The pro-Russian Fighterbomber Telegram channel, which often writes about aviation losses and has deep connections to Russian Aerospace Forces, confirmed one Felon was hit and said the attack was carried out by three Ukrainian drones.

“The Su-57 was damaged by shrapnel; it is now being determined whether it can be restored or not,” Fighterbomber wrote. “If not, then this will be the first combat loss of the Su-57 in history.”

GUR said that there are a “few units” of the Felon “in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.” The number of production configuration Su-57s in Russia’s inventory is notoriously limited. As of early 2023, there were just around nine full-up Su-57s in Russia’s stable, along with less than a dozen pre-production Su-57/T-10 prototype aircraft that are not fully equipped for combat operations. The number of production Su-57s has expanded since then, but not on a grand scale as Russia prioritizes production of 4th generation fighters, namely the Su-35, over the more complex and expensive Su-57.


These attacks raise questions about the ability of Russia’s widely dispersed and heavily targeted air defenses to counter Ukrainian drone incursions and the ability to protect aircraft, almost all of which sit in the open without any sort of shelter, let alone hardened ones.

In its report on the damaged Felon, the Russian Fighterbomber Telegram channel complained bitterly about the lack of protection from drone attacks.

“I’ll tell you again. For the price of this Su-57 alone, shelters from UAVs could be built for all PTA aircraft in the country,” the channel wrote.