Russian soldiers accidentally shot down one of their own warplanes on July 18, a brand new Sukhoi Su-34M. The upgraded Su-34 is roughly comparable to the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E and is considered Russia’s most advanced warplane, according to Forbes.
The Dutch defense analysis site Oryx reports that at least 185 Russian aircraft, including 37 combat aircraft, have been lost since the country’s invasion of Ukraine began in February. These vehicles include reconnaissance drones, helicopters, and dozens of Sukhoi warplanes. Most of these aircraft were completely destroyed. The rest were captured or damaged.
Still, Russia’s Air Force is quite large, certainly larger than Ukraine’s, which had just 125 operable fixed-wing Russian-made warplanes at the beginning of this war. As a result, the U.S. considered supplying Ukraine with fighter jets, a move that would expand U.S. involvement in the war and further escalate tensions with Moscow. (This is how the U.S. is arming Ukraine.)
So how strong is the Russian Air Force right now?
According to the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, Russia has 2,465 Air Force planes, excluding helicopters and drones, led by nearly 1,200 fighter jets, nearly 400 transports, and 125 bombers. The largest number of Russian Air Force planes are 274 Sukhoi Su-24s and 251 Mikoyan MiG-29s fighter jets. Russia is also in the process of adding 820 upgraded aircraft, including Sukhoi Su-34Ms. (See how Many Russian planes are among the world’s fastest warplanes.)
To compile a list of every plane in Russia’s military, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft on the different types of aircraft currently in service in the Russian air force and navy. Aircraft are ordered by total count and then by year first flown. Information on total plane count and first flights also came from WDMMA and are from June 2022. Helicopters were excluded from this list.
The oldest of these aircraft is the Tupelov Tu-95 long-range bomber. Its first flight took place in 1952. Russia’s in-service military planes include 14 types of transport planes, 13 models used for special missions like reconnaissance and electronic warfare, and seven versions of fighter jets. Other types in manned warplanes include trainer jets, aerial refuelers, three types of bombers, and the Sukhoi Su-25 close-air support jet.
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