Everything We Know About The Russian Su-25 Frogfoot Jet Shot Down in Syria

Russian Loss Comes During 24-Hour Increase in Airstrikes in Syria’s North-Western Idlib Province.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft was shot down over the city of Maasran in Idlib, Syria, on Feb. 3, 2018. The aircraft, RF-95486/06 Blue (ex Red), was involved in airstrikes in region and had just fired rockets on a ground target.

Video seen on social media shows what appears to be a person, claimed to be the Russian Su-25 pilot, descending by parachute after the aircraft was hit. The BBC reported that Russia’s defense ministry said: “The pilot had enough time to report that he had ejected in an area controlled by the militants of Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Based on report and the above videos the aircraft was hit by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System): most probably a Chinese FN-6 passive infrared homing (IR) man portable air defence system known to be in the hands of the Jidahists.

According to reliable sources within the Russian military who spoke to TheAviationist.com, the pilot did reach the ground and then engaged unknown ground forces. Our Russian source tells TheAviationist.com that photos from the scene show the pilot’s personal firearm and that, “One store [ammunition magazine] is completely empty, the other two are consumed more than half. The pilot led the fight.” The source claimed the weapon shown in the photos is a Russian Stechkin automatic pistol or APS. This weapon is widely carried by Russian military and federal law enforcement.

Additional sources on Russian social media report that the pilot carried a grenade and may have detonated it close to himself as insurgent forces closed in on him. There is no official confirmation of this information.

Sources on Twitter claimed the pilot used a grenade in addition to his pistol to engage ground forces. (Photo: via Twitter)

Anyway, the pilot was captured and killed. The Russia-based, independent Conflict Intelligence Team posted photographs they say showed the dead body of the pilot and a paper recommending a man named Major Roman Filipov for a state award that was allegedly filled out by Russian air group commander Lieutenant Colonel Sergei Aksyonov.

Novaya Gazeta quoted an unidentified Defense Ministry source as confirming that the pilot was Filippov. According to the newspaper, he was a Ukrainian pilot from Crimea, the Ukrainian region that Russia annexed in 2014.

Video from alleged to be from the crash scene clearly show the wing of an Su-25 with Russian markings along with a damaged engine and fire among debris.

Video at the crash scene confirmed the aircraft is a Russian Su-25. (Photo: YouTube)

TheAviationist.com showed the Arabic language news broadcast to a translator in Dearborn, Michigan, who told us that the reporter in the video, identified as “Journalist Moazom Al-Chamie”, says the aircraft was shot down by a shoulder fired missile after being spotted by drivers in a truck. The reporter also goes on to say that another Russian Su-25 remained in the area after the incident, and that the men shown in the video hoped to shoot it down as well.

According to Iranian journalist Babak Taghvaee the Su-25 shot down on Feb. 3 was one of six Su-25s of RuAF’s 368 ShAP recently deployed from Sevastopol, Crimea to Hmeymim Air Base, Syria.

The loss of this Su-25 is the 11th Russian aircraft destroyed by enemy action or in accidents during the Russian involvement in the Syrian campaign. Considering the number of combat sorties flown by the Russians over Syria, and the increasing number of man portable air defense systems (MANPADS), these losses could be characterized as low for a campaign of this size.

Russian observers remarked that an absence of infra-red decoy flares being ejected from the Su-25 shown in the videos is unusual. It is common to see a series of bright flares ejected from an aircraft as a countermeasure to heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles.

Video seen on social media showed Su-25 attack aircraft over the same area being engaged by anti-aircraft guns. One video showed an Su-25 taking a near miss as a proximity fused anti-aircraft round detonates near its left wing root.

Following the downing of the Su-25 reports began to appear on Twitter that numerous air strikes were occurring in the area where the aircraft was downed.

The Russian Sukhoi Su-25 is a successful, heavily armored ground attack aircraft roughly comparable to the U.S. A-10 Warthog. (Photo: Russian Air Force)

Top image credit: Ilya the Nightingale

About Tom Demerly 516 Articles
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.


  1. I was gonna say – where’s the flares? Do the Russians have CSAR aircraft and rescuers ready to pounce and extract downed aircrew? Well, unfortunate for the pilot. The world is pretty much united against these Jihadists. Would the A-10 have survived if by chance it got hit by an FN-6? Yes, probably. Real hard to shoot down a Hog. Not so much a Frogfoot.



      • They’re both designed to take damage and keep on flying, but I believe the A-10, by virtue of its overall design and better gun system (A-10’s GAU-8/A can carry 1,174 rounds, Su-25’s GSh-30-2 carries only 250 rounds) is the better, tougher CAS platform. And I admit to being mistaken in my belief that today’s A-10s had Directional Infrared Counter-Measures (DIRCM) systems installed that can blind MANPADs like the FN-6’s seekers. I thought they’d have been fitted by now. They’re not. They should be. Sounds like a no-brainier given the hand-held SAM threat.

        Above: Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24 DIRCM

        Jihaddis are a threat to the entire world, so I don’t care what AF takes them out. This Russian pilot being shot at while descending in his chute is another of many war crimes being committed by groups of terrorists in the ME. A tough break for the pilot and a shame that this fate befell him. My guess is payback is on the way. I’m OK with that!

        • Is it a part of pod ensemble? The US is putting 5th gen systems on pods to make the flight verification process easier.

        • I only couldn´t help myself not to react to one of your too many silly comments. And, as you are calling a Russian combat proven hero pilot a “half-civilized man”, I have no more reason to waste my time with you.

          • In New Zealand, throwing a rock at someone is your idea of war. That is if you are posting from Wellington and not Moscow. I’d rather think it’s the later. Now do yourself a favor – put me on “Block User”.

          • Hero? Maybe, but I doubt it. Not when your AF bombs civilian hospitals, housing complexes, schools, etc. Using thousands of tons of gravity bombs. Perhaps this particular pilot didn’t, but his “guys”? They sure as hell have. Multiple times!

          • He was shot down while attacking a refugee column outside Ma’asaran, a village around four kilometers south of Sarqib. This man was a coward and a murderer. Now, who’s not talking to who? Get out of my face before I lose my temper! I have no more reason to waste my time with you.

            • “He was shot down while attacking a refugee column”
              A refuge column equipped with enough air defense to physically shot down what is probably the toughest aircraft to shot down on the planet.
              I wonder if they had tanks,too.

              • Say what you want, everyone knows the truth about Russian war crimes perpetrated in Syria, to include turning a blind eye to Assad’s use of chemical weapons. It’s a good thing Israel took out his reactor years ago otherwise we’d see nukes being used on entire cities.

        • I often hear that there are many peaceful Muslim people. What good is that if they can’t prevent what the radicals do?

        • ” I believe the A-10, by virtue of its overall design and better gun system (A-10’s GAU-8/A can carry 1,174 rounds, Su-25’s GSh-30-2 carries only 250 rounds) is the better, tougher CAS platform”
          I disagree.It is worse CAS platform specifically because of useless overweight gun and being by far worse protected.
          However,it has engine placement going for it,so there is that.

          • lol!! Is that why there have been so many more Su-25 combat losses vs. A-10? Count them, you’ll see. : )

  2. “The Russian Sukhoi Su-25 is a successful, heavily armored ground attack aircraft roughly comparable to the U.S. A-10 Warthog”

    I’d have to differ with a number of points here, the biggest one being – the Frogfoot ain’t no Hog! No how, no way. Just like the Flanker ain’t no Eagle.

  3. Major Roman Filipov wasn’t a Ukrainian pilot. He was from Vladivоstok and served at the Chernigovka Air Base, Amur Oblast, until 2013. He transferred in 386 ShAP on 2014.
    And, “Filipov” with one letter “L”.

  4. It is mighty difficult to pick a side in this battle.

    On one hand you have a genocidal thuggish barbarian with some slightly civilized behavior, and on the other you have a genocidal thuggish barbarian that fucks goats.

    Either way, it is a shame the Russian pilot lost his life, and I feel for him. Especially by ejecting in the middle of people who will torture you for fun.

    But it is really hard to get even more sympathy after knowing how warmongering and genocidal Russia was, and still is.

    It is like in the movies, you don’t know which villain to support. I guess, pick the least worst of them? Considering it, only the slightly civilized behavior weights in on the positive side for the Russians.

        • Well don’t forget (I know you haven’t, unlike some of these Russian paid disinformation specialists that would like world to forget), Russians aren’t like the U.S. in conducting raids against legitimate military targets with precision munitions. No, Russia has purposely bombed hospitals, schools, housing complexes – all sorts of civilian targets. So, while the Jihadiis have engaged in war crimes, so too has Russia.

          No JDAMs or PAVEWAY with Russia’s antiquated kit. Gravity bombs mostly and they engage in carpet bombing within the confines of cities. So you owe no Russian or Russian apologist any apology on your part. The Russian armed forces are fighting this war with just as much (actually maybe more) innocent, non-combatant blood on their hands as the Jihadiis. And don’t forget Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians, something Russia knows happens yet does nothing to try and stop! So yes …

          Your confusion is warranted. You are forced to choose between two evils, one big, the other bigger. You don’t owe any explanation to these Kremlin trolls and their clown cheerleaders because yours is a correct assessment. Who do you side with, Frankenstein or Dracula?

          • “Russians aren’t like the U.S. in conducting raids against legitimate military targets with precision munitions”
            Yes,they did.
            “No JDAMs or PAVEWAY with Russia’s antiquated kit”
            Except,of course,that Syrian war saw the most widespread usage of guided munitions in Russian history.Not that these are needed in most cases,because SVP-24 aiming system is a thing that allows unguided munitions to have comparable(but not equal)accuracy.
            “And don’t forget Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians”
            Which never happened,of course.Both because of lack of means and lack of sense.Modern bombs destroy targets FAR more efficiently.

        • Are we at this point again? Where we will call Russians and others subhumans again? Because that’s what you are doing here. Are you serious? Have you thought of the implications and consequences?

          Is the mod of this board aware of the implications? Maybe it would be better not publish my comment. But the others can’t stand here either. Who are we to determine which human being is worth less than another?

          Not all humans may be equal, but one is surely not worth more than another.

          • Right, so your answer is to actively add words to my mouth because you have no arguments.

            I never said subhuman, I said that due to how they act, and consistently mind you, is what causes them to be slightly civilized. Defending genocidal, warmongering, barbarian and thuggish behavior will not help anyone.

            Next time, come with a better argument and don’t add words into someone else’s mouth.

    • Anybody that praise this brave pilots death needs to get help. Clearly, if your having trouble picking a side… You sir, have problems. #Terrorist

    • “But it is really hard to get even more sympathy after knowing how warmongering and genocidal Russia was, and still is.

      It is like in the movies, you don’t know which villain to support. I guess, pick the least worst of them? Considering it, only the slightly civilized behavior weights in on the positive side for the Russians”

      I think you’ve confused Israel with Russia. Anyways a typical hasbara comment, full of nonsense and rubbish, time for a fact check mate …


        • LOL, this is comedy gold. Nobody is innocent. And there is no good and evil or black and white. Just evil and less evil and lots of grey. You either are pretty naive or you want to deceive people.

          Egon Bahr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Bahr), a German politician said:

          “In der internationalen Politik geht es nie um Demokratie oder Menschenrechte. Es geht um die Interessen von Staaten. Merken Sie sich das, egal, was man Ihnen im Geschichtsunterricht erzählt.”

          “In international politics it’s never about democracy or human rights. It’s about the interests of states. Remember that, no matter what they will tell you in history lessons.”

          Quote from Wikipedia:
          “Bahr was a key figure in multiple negotiation sessions between not only East and West Germany, but also Germany and the Soviets. In addition to his instrumental role in Ostpolitik, Bahr was also an influential voice in negotiating the Treaty of Moscow, the Treaty of Warsaw, the Transit Treaty of 1971 and the Basic Treaty of 1972.”

          He was a truly statesman who wanted to deescalate things.

          Oh, and by the way: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/migration/migration.htm

          That’s what’s coming.

          • It is pretty simple, in that region, and worldwide Israel are the good guys.

            You won’t see the “palestinians” or other arab states telling people to leave the area before they bomb some weapon storage facility.

            PS: So your solution is to make Europe a third world country imitating the same country that these refugees left?
            Wow, amazing, wow…good idea!

        • “didn’t confuse a democratic, friendly, very civilized, and humane country with a warmongering genocidal barbarian thug”
          Please.Israel isn’t THAT barbaric.
          It is,however,pretty much a theocracy living in siege mentality.

          • A theocracy? It is a secular country, even LGBT people have more rights in Israel than the nearby thuggish countries.

            Also, you kinda missed the point of the message, because russia is a “warmongering genocidal barbarian thug”

    • I knew it. The real story is coming out. This pilot, this “hero of Russia”, was murdering innocent civilians, something Russians do with both frequency and glee:

      A Russian Pilot Died While Attacking Civilians in Syria

      “As so often over the last two years, the Russian air strikes largely ignore jihadists and instead target the Syrian opposition and civilians, instead – thus indirectly supporting jihadist efforts to destroy the remnants of the Syrian insurgency.

      Unarmed civilians tend to offer no armed resistance. Therefore, VKS pilots became ever more reckless while attacking them. Russian Su-25 attack planes could be observed
      rocketing and strafing civilian vehicles from low altitudes. On Feb. 1, 2017, one of the VKS’s Su-25s was hit by ground fire during a low-altitude attack – although it seems to have returned safely to Hmemmem air base.

      Two days later on Feb. 3, 2018, Su-25SM serial 06, flown by Maj. Roman Filipov, was shot down while attacking a refugee column outside Ma’asaran, a village around four kilometers south of Sarqib.”


      Hero of Russia? This “hero” is burning in hell! That’s what happens when you willingly conduct air strikes against civilians in war. So in my mind, this pilot is a hero like Herman Goering was a philanthropist! How many of his “guys” are down there drinking fire with the devil? I wonder.

    • It seems a lot of folks are under the impression there are only two sides to this conflict.

      There’s more than that.

      Assad’s government.
      Anti-government rebels.
      Radical Islamist terrorists.
      Kurdish freedom fighters.

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