New satellite photos that appeared yesterday evening allow us to roughly estimate the losses of the Russian army after the strike on the Saki air base on August 9, 2022. It can be considered an almost proven fact that it was precisely a strike by the Armed Forces – the pictures clearly show the funnels from the explosions, and they look exactly like the funnels from a rocket or bomb attack.
Analysts estimate the losses of the Russian Air Force in different ways. According to the Dutch OSINT group Oryx, the Russians lost at least 4 Su-30SM fighters and 7 of Su-24MR bombers – i.e. 11 aircraft. The group OSINTtechnical believes those were 3 Su-30SM, 4 Su-24MR and one Su-27 – i.e. 8 aircraft. According to OSINTtechnical, the diameter of the craters from the explosions is about 6 m, that is, it was quite a powerful weapon.
The calculations of Oryx and OSINTtechnical almost coincide with the opinion of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which added to the to enemy losses for August 10, 2022 plus 9 aircraft.
But destroyed planes are not all. According to Defense Express during explosions of such power, even houses located 1.5 km from the military base were damaged, so planes that appear intact on satellite images may also be damaged. Especially if American ATACMS missiles or Ukrainian Sapsan/Grim-2 missiles with a detonation in the air were used to attack the Saki air base.
That is, all the enemy equipment that was in Saki must undergo a thorough inspection for damage by shrapnel and fragments. And there is a high probability that some of these planes will be good only for spare parts.
However, satellite images are freely available, so everyone can independently calculate the likely losses of the enemy and rejoice that we already have weapons that allow such strikes. And what exactly it was, modified P-360 Neptune, the mythical Grim-2, secret supplies of ATACMS, or even an aviation raid with non-standard use of AGM-88 HARM, then it doesn’t even matter. And even if it was the work of the Special Operation Forces in the spirit of the British special forces raid on Pebble Island during the Falklands war. The latter is unlikely, in the event of a raid by the Special Operation Forces, there would be more damage to the planes themselves and not huge funnels from the explosions.
The loss of 8 (11) aircraft at once is the largest loss of the Russian Air Force since World War II. And also, this is a strong slap to the “no-analogues” Air Defense Forces of the Russian Federation, which missed everything that could have been missed. A slap somewhere on the level of destruction of the Moskva cruiser. We hope that this is not the last, and in the coming weeks we will see other examples of the use of long-range high-precision weapons by the Armed Forces, which we “do not have”.
Thank you, the Armed Forces of Ukraine! You are the best!