According to the Russian defence ministry, Russian warplanes shot down two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters that had been modified to launch US-made anti-radar missiles.
Ukrainian jets were intercepted near Nikolaev (southern Ukraine). The AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missile can now be carried by these two MiG-29s (HARM).
The AGM-88 (HARM) missile has a smokeless solid-fuel propulsion system, a minimum range of 25 kilometres, and a maximum range of 150 kilometres. The AGM-88 is intended for detecting, attacking, and destroying radar and radar pulse generators (antennas).
The news comes less than a month after a video made public by the Ukrainian Air Force on August 30 showed a Ukrainian MiG-29 Fulcrum fire the US-supplied AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs) for the first time. At that period, numerous HARM launches were documented on film.
Ukraine purportedly has the potential to eliminate rival air defence, commonly known as SEAD/DEAD, thanks to the AGM-88 HARM. When carried by a Ukrainian fighter jet, the missile enables the plane to fly securely, support ground forces, and destroy Russian air defence radars.
Russian jets, though, may have fired air-to-air missiles at the Ukrainian fighters. The incident’s circumstances, though, are still a mystery.
The downed MiG-29 aircraft was the 54th and 55th MiG-29 that Russian forces had shot down since the invasion’s beginning in February, according to a local Russian-language media outlet. Open sources, however, indicate that as of 2022, the Ukrainian Air Force has 36 MiG-29s in its fleet.
Slovakia declared its readiness to provide 11 vintage MiG planes to Ukraine in August. The latter requested additional supplies from NATO countries to strengthen its capacity to combat invading Russian forces. Whether such a delivery had actually occurred, however, was not officially confirmed.
In addition, 21 missiles, many of which were fired by the highly mobile HIMARS multiple launch rocket launcher, were shot down, along with 12 Ukrainian drones.
The aforementioned details emerge while five-day referendums on the annexation of Russia are being held in the southern Ukrainian provinces of Kherson and Zaporozhye, which are both under the military control of Russia.