Ukrainian Patriot missile system shot down two Su-34 fighter-bombers and one Su-35 fighter jet

Ukraine says it shot down three Russian fighter jets on 17 February 2024.

“According to the Commander of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, on the morning of February 17, 2024, in the Eastern direction, units of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed three enemy aircraft at once – two Su-34 fighter-bombers and one Su-35 fighter,” the Ukrainian Army’s strategic communications department wrote on Telegram.

The Su-34 is the Russian air force’s best fighter bomber, Forbes reported, and cost $50 million each.

The Su-35 has a top speed of 1485 mph and carries a bomb load of over 17,000 pounds.

In December, Ukraine orchestrated a similar success story, with Ukrainian forces eliminating three Russian Su-34 fighter/bombers over two days.

The Institute for the Study of War reported that the Russian air force pulled back in response.

The December successes were presumed to have been made possible by Western-supplied Patriot missile systems.

The surface-to-air missile systems, manufactured by the US defense contractor Raytheon, have been a formidable asset to Ukraine — so much so that one of Russia’s latest strategies has been to try to deplete Ukraine’s Patriot stocks.

Last month, Business Insider’s Sinéad Baker wrote that Russia was strategically trying to bait Ukraine into using up its Patriot stocks to leave itself vulnerable.

Without the protection the Patriot systems afford, Russia could see a much higher success rate and inflict maximal damage with less fear of its strikes failing.

It is unclear how Ukrainian forces downed the three Russian fighter jets this morning.

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