The Su-35S crashed near Izium, Ukraine. It looks like it was configured for SEAD (Suppression Enemy Air Defenses) mission.
Images of the wreckage of an aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) have started to circulate online in the afternoon (European time) on Apr. 3, 2022. The jet went down near Izium, in eastern Ukraine, some 120 kilometers to the southeast of Kharkiv.
Single seater, without canards, equipped with the L-265M10P/R ECM wingtip pods and featuring heat shields on the stabilizers: the aircraft was quickly identified as an Su-35S Flanker-E multirole 4++ generation supermaneuverable jet. The first to be lost since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 downed near Izium pic.twitter.com/YmoasatJBP
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) April 3, 2022
We can see Russian domination in the air. pic.twitter.com/onNogXuBik
— Kriegsforscher (@OSINTua) April 3, 2022
— Necro Mancer (@666_mancer) April 3, 2022
The pilot of the Flanker derivative survived the ejection and was captured by the Ukrainian forces:
One of the pilots of the downed Russian Su-35 combat aircraft in the Izyum Oblast was captured by the Ukrainian military earlier today.
So far, attempts by the Russians to evacuate the pilots by helicopters have failed. pic.twitter.com/aaKEYGAtGn
— CaucasusWarReport (@Caucasuswar) April 3, 2022
According to the Ukrainian sources, the Su-35S was shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses, although this can’t be verified at the moment. A video allegedly showing the aircraft, in flames, coming down, has emerged.
Russian aircraft reportedly shot down near Izyum pic.twitter.com/9y4DTZt68H
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) April 3, 2022
The Su-35S “Flanker E” is the 4++ generation variant of the Su-27 Flanker aircraft.
The multirole aircraft features thrust-vectoring, radar-absorbent paint, Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar, IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track), the Khibiny radar jamming system along with the ability to use some interesting weapons, including the ultra-long range R-37M air-to-air missile that could target HVAA (High Value Air Assets) such as AWACS and tanker aircraft.
Dealing with the mission the Su-35S was flying, our contributor and friend Guy Plopsky pointed out the photos of the crash site also show what could be remains of a Kh-31 anti-radiation missile (ARM). This means it might have been tasked with a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) mission, to disable the enemy ground-based air defense systems radars.
This Su-35S was possibly on a SEAD mission. Note what appears to be the remnants of a Kh-31P-series missile (perhaps a Kh-31PK or PM) under the wing in the photo above.
Similar loadout shown in a Russian MoD clip from earlier:https://t.co/7SlpFAEBah
— Guy Plopsky (@GuyPlopsky) April 3, 2022