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UK says Saky explosions leave Russian Navy Black Sea aviation fleet 'significantly degraded'

12th August 2022 - 12:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Satellite imagery of Saky airfield in the aftermath of explosions and damage to Russian fighter jets. (Photo: Maxar)

Russian Black Sea naval aviation has taken a serious hit from a recent Ukrainian strike, according to analysis from the UK MoD.

A series of explosions at the Russian operated Saky airfield, western Crimea, has led to the Russian Navy's Black Sea aviation fleet being 'significantly degraded,' according to a new UK MoD intelligence report. 

The cause of the explosions, which occurred on 9 August, are said to be unclear, but 'mushroom clouds' captured by eyewitness videos are 'almost certainly' a result of up to four uncovered munition storage areas being detonated, added the MoD. 

It noted that five Su-24 Fencer fighter-bombers and three Su-30 Flanker H multirole fighters were 'almost certainly' destroyed or 'seriously damaged' from the explosions.

'The loss of eight combat jets represents a minor proportion of the overall fleet of aircraft Russia has available to support the war,' said the UK MoD. 'However, Saky was primarily used as a base for the aircraft of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet. The fleet's naval aviation capability is now significantly degraded.' 

Such was the seriousness of the incident that the UK predicts Russia will move to 'revise its threat perception.'

London explained that Crimea 'has probably been seen as a secure rear-area' before the Saky explosions.  

The Shephard News Team


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