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Tu-22M3 downing was operation by Defense Intelligence of Ukraine

Tu-22M3 downing was operation by Defense Intelligence of Ukraine Tu-22M3 downing was DIU operation (Getty Images)

The downing of a Tu-22M3 bomber on Russian territory is an operation carried out by the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine of the Ministry of Defense. The aircraft was successfully attacked 300 km away from Ukraine, according to the Defense Forces.

The destruction of the Tu-22M3 is attributed to an operation by the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU). After the bomber was shot down, another aircraft flying with it turned back.

"This is the first strategic aircraft successfully destroyed by Ukraine during a flight, delivering strikes against Ukraine," the source revealed.

The source also added that the Tu-22M3 was attacked at a distance of 300 km from Ukraine.

Details from DIU

The DIU has showcased a video depicting the operation leading to the downing of the Tu-22M3 aircraft.

"One of the long-range bombers, Tu-22M3, which conducted a missile attack against Ukraine on the night of April 19, was shot down as a result of a special operation by the Main Intelligence Directorate in collaboration with the Air Forces," reads the caption under the video.

Intelligence officers confirmed that the enemy aircraft Tu-22M3 was successfully shot down approximately 300 kilometers from Ukraine using the same means previously used to strike the Russian long-range radar detection and control aircraft A-50. As a result of the strike, the bomber managed to fly to the Stavropol Krai where it crashed.

"This is the first successful destruction of a strategic bomber in the air during a combat sortie amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine," said the DIU.

RBC-Ukraine's sources within the Defense Forces previously revealed that the Tu-22M3 aircraft was shot down by the S-200 complex, which was modified by the DIU specialists.

What is known about the downing of the Tu-22M3

Today, it became known that a military aircraft, Tu-22M3, crashed in the Stavropol Krai of the Russian Federation. Russian media reported this, later confirmed by the region's governor, Vladimir Vladimirov.

Furthermore, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the crash of the Tu-22M3. They stated that the aircraft crashed "after performing a combat mission while returning to the base airfield." The preliminary cause of the crash is cited as "technical malfunction" by the Russians, claiming "no weapons were on board the aircraft, and there was no damage on the ground." Additionally, the Russians assert that three crew members were evacuated and the search for one pilot is underway.

Meanwhile, the press service of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine noted that this military aircraft launched missiles at Ukraine just a few hours prior to being downed.

Later, it was reported that the hostile aircraft was successfully destroyed by Ukrainian forces. Thus, for the first time, the anti-aircraft missile units of the Air Forces, in collaboration with the DIU, destroyed the long-range strategic bomber Tu-22M3 - the carrier of Kh-22 cruise missiles, which Russian terrorists use to strike peaceful Ukrainian cities.

"During today's attack, two such missiles were destroyed for the first time," said Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk.

About Tu-22M3 aircraft

The Tu-22M3 is a Soviet long-range supersonic bomber-carrier with variable sweep wing geometry. It is designed to engage maritime and ground targets with cruise missiles, aviation bombs, including nuclear warheads. This technology was developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau and was produced at the Kazan Aircraft Production Association named after Gorbunov. It has been in service since 1974. The first flight of the Tu-22M3 took place on June 20, 1977, and it entered serial production in 1978, which ceased in 1993.

Overall, the Tu-22M3 was designed for nuclear warfare. This supersonic bomber was supposed to launch three supersonic Kh-22 missiles simultaneously, for example, against an American aircraft carrier from a distance of less than 600 km.

The aircraft is armed with the Kh-22, an anti-ship missile not intended for strikes against ground targets, with low accuracy compared to other cruise missiles used against ground targets.

For more information on this bomber, read the RBC-Ukraine article "Nuclear warfighter: Key characteristics of Russian Tu-22M3 bomber and Kh-22 'blind' missiles".