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HomeNewsDesperate Vladimir Putin forced to rely on Stalin-era aircraft after Ukraine bombing

Desperate Vladimir Putin forced to rely on Stalin-era aircraft after Ukraine bombing


Putin is relying on a Soviet-era aircraft in a desperate bid to make gains in the Ukraine War after a string of successful counterattacks by Kyiv.

The amphibious Beriev Be-12, which Russia has said it will deploy from bases in occupied Crimea, is an aircraft that was designed in the 1950s during the final years of Stalin’s reign over the communist empire and the start of Nikita Khrushchev’s era.

It will be used mainly to conduct maritime patrols in the Black Sea to help restore Russia’s weakened position there following a major counteroffensive by Ukraine.

Last week, British-designed Storm Shadow missiles were used to crash through the roof of Russia’s naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea. Ten missiles killed 34 officers, including the fleet commander, Ukraine said.

Moreover, in recent months, a series of artillery strikes and drone attacks are known to have taken out some of Putin’s top-of-the-range military technology and disrupted key facilities in Russia and occupied areas in Ukraine.

In an update on the war in Ukraine, UK Defence Intelligence said: “[Russian] Naval Aviation is emphasising maritime air patrol operations, highly likely with a primary mission of the early identification of uncrewed surface vessels [USVs].

“A key asset in these operations is the Be-12 ‘Mail’ amphibious aircraft, designed in the 1950s, flying out of bases in occupied Crimea.”

There are seven Be-12s currently in service, with three of these in storage, it has been reported by FlightGlobal.

The update added: “With more fleet activities likely relocating to Novorossiysk in the face of threats to Sevastopol, Russia is attempting to use naval air power to project force over the northwestern Black Sea.”

Head of the British Armed Forces Admiral Sir Tony Radakin declared recently that Vladimir Putin had “lost control of the war in Ukraine”.

It is understood the operational Soviet planes will not have modern radar or imaging infrared systems that the aircraft needed to detect quick, Ukraine targets such as elusive surface drones.

The aircraft, controlled by a crew of four, was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare.

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