Patriot vs. Su-35

Kyiv, Ukraine – With Russia’s persistent aggression, Ukraine is testing its recently acquired American Patriot missile defense system on Russia’s Su-35 Fighter Jet. The Ukrainian military notably intercepted a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal-type ballistic missile with the Patriot system, marking the first known occurrence of such a feat. However, doubts linger over the system’s capability to counter Su-35 fighter jets deploying aerial-guided bombs from afar.

Made by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, Russia’s Su-35 is a versatile fighter aircraft that primarily functions as an air superiority fighter with secondary air-to-ground capabilities. To counter this, Ukraine suggests the use Patriot missile system, which is designed to intercept and neutralize incoming missiles and aircraft, against the Su-35.

The US Patriot missile defense system has significantly bolstered Ukraine’s ability to withstand Moscow’s hostilities. However, despite its successful interception of a Russian hypersonic missile, the system’s capacity to shoot down Su-35 fighter jets remains uncertain. In response, Ukraine’s military has integrated advanced air defense systems like the German IRIS-T and US-made NASAMS, establishing a formidable, multi-layered air defense network alongside the Patriot system.



Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, asserts that implementing these advanced air defense systems aligns with a wider plan to modernize Ukraine’s military capabilities and deter Russian aggression. The efficacy of these systems against Russian fighter jets deploying aerial-guided bombs from a distance, however, is yet to be determined.

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) have adjusted their tactics in response to Ukraine’s enhanced air defense capabilities, striking Ukraine without penetrating its airspace. By deploying precision-guided aerial bombs, Russian Su-34 and Su-35 jets can evade Kyiv’s air defense systems and MANPADS, launching these bombs from distances of 50 to 70 kilometers.