Reportedly, Russia has lost second A-50 radar jet

Recent social media footage captures a burning aircraft on the ground, suspected to be the A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) jet, yet the exact circumstances remain unclear. It’s uncertain whether the Ukrainian military or Russian air defense systems caused the downing.

According to Russian sources, the A-50 was brought down by friendly fire over the Sea of Azov. However, there’s speculation that technical malfunction could have contributed to the crash.

The Beriev A-50, also known as the Mainstay, plays a crucial role as Russia’s AEW&C aircraft, utilizing the Ilyushin Il-76 platform. The loss of such aircraft for the Russians is significant.

This incident potentially marks the second A-50 downing since Russia initiated its aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

In January 2023, another A-50 was shot down in the Sea of Azov, along with an Il-22 that managed to land with significant damage after being hit by a missile.

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