Putin’s High Tech Spy Plane Destroyed in Belarus by Partisans
Belarusian partisans and exiled opposition members reportedly claimed responsibility for damaging the military aircraft in a covert operation aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s A-50 surveillance plane.
The attack was reportedly carried out by two operatives who used drones and had already left the country.
Russia’s A-50 aircraft is a surveillance and command-and-control aircraft that is designed to monitor enemy airspace and detect incoming aircraft, as well as coordinate and direct combat operations.
The Belarusian anti-government organization, BYPOL, has claimed that two explosions have damaged the front and central parts of the AWACS Beriev A-50U aircraft, as well as the radar antenna at the Machulishchy air base near Minsk.
BYPOL has accused the Belarusian government of attempting to cover up the incident and has called for an international investigation.
Franak Viacorka, a close adviser of Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya tweeted: “Partisans… confirmed a successful special operation to blow up a rare Russian plane at the airfield in Machulishchy near Minsk,’
“This is the most successful diversion since the beginning of 2022.”
Russian airborne early warning aircraft the Beriev A-50, also known as Mainstay, has the capacity to monitor up to 60 targets simultaneously.
It contains the Shmel radar complex’s rotating fiberglass dome with a long-range radar detection system that has been used to precisely target bombing targets inside Ukraine.
The A-50U is made to locate, track, and recognize aerial, substantial ground, and naval targets, send pertinent information to command centers, and guide fighter aircraft to aerial targets.
The wrecked aircraft allegedly had the registration RF-50608 and touched down in Belarus on January 3.
Before being harmed in the alleged assault, it had completed a dozen sorties related to the conflict in Ukraine.
Only six modernized A-50U aircraft with crews of 19 are in service in Russia, and each one can monitor up to 60 targets at once.
He declined to reveal all the details of the sabotage, but some details were made public.
Azarov said: “When we plan actions, we choose many different objects, and everything depends on opportunities, intelligence. There were enough options, but they saw that this plane was almost not guarded, so they chose this object.
“They just relaxed. Previously, soldiers guarded all airfields, even dug trenches. Now they walk peacefully: they think they have all been suppressed.”