After ground air defence systems failed to intercept the Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 UAV, Russia now deployed the Su-30SM fighter aircraft to shoot down TB2 UCAV.
The Russian Army hopes that the Su-30SM will aid in the better control of the skies against the increased regular invasions of Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drones.
For several days in a row, the Ukrainian Army has conducted ambushes and delivered many powerful attacks on the Russian army group stationed in the area around Zmiiny Island (Snake Island) through the Bayraktar TB2 UAV, which made Moscow very angry.
For example, on April 27, the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the forward command post and the Russian Strela-10 low-altitude anti-aircraft missile complex stationed on Snake Island, which is being temporarily occupied.
On May 2, the Bayraktar TB2 drone sank two Raptor speedboats trying to conduct reconnaissance at the mouth of the Danube. Among other things, this is the first time in history that this drone has destroyed an enemy ship.
It is also worth mentioning that Russian anti-aircraft missile systems are showing very low effectiveness against cheap Bayraktar TB2 UAVs, While this is not the forst time Russia facing TB2 UAVs in the battlefields of Syria, Libya and Karabakh Russia already faced Tb2 UAV.
Faced with the above situation, according to Defense Express, the Russian army decided to tighten control of the airspace to “cover” more closely the battle formation on the temporarily occupied island.
According to Ukrainian media pair of fighters began to be recruited there for round-the-clock duty, for example, Su-30SM aircraft from the 43rd Naval Aviation Regiment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet
The Russian side seems to be hoping that thanks to the appearance of the above-mentioned pair of Su-30SM fighters, they will be able to identify Ukraine’s Bayraktar TB2 drones from afar to plan their destruction.
The power of the Su-30SM fighter lies in the passive phased array radar N011M BARS, which is capable of detecting an air target with a large radar reflection area such as a B-52 bomber from a range of 400 kilometers.
The N011M BARS radar parameter integrated on the Su-30SM fighter is assessed as close to the N035 Irbis type equipped with the Su-35S multi-role fighter, this weapon is inferior in its ability to detect small targets.
Therefore, there have been quite a few doubts raised within Russia before the new mission for the Su-30SM fighter, because there is no guarantee that its radar will easily detect a Bayraktar TB2.
The Ukrainian UAV’s advantage is that it has a tiny radar reflecting area and frequently operates at low altitudes, making the Su-30SM’s N011M radar vulnerable to interference due to terrain mixing when observed from above.
Not only that, the cost per hour of flight of a heavy fighter like the Su-30SM is no less than 45,000 USD, so the economic problem also needs to be set out seriously.
It is likely that the Su-30SM fighter of the Black Sea Fleet will only fly patrol at certain times, and most of the time, the task of guarding the Bayraktar TB2 Ukraine UAV will still be taken up by air defense complexes.