Russia’s Su-34 dropped glide bombs on Belgorod apartment due to GLONASS guidance error, not the Ukrainian Tochka-U missile

Russian Ministry of Defense admits its own SU-34 “inadvertently” bombed Russian city of Belgorod, creating a massive crater and damaging residential buildings.

At least 15 people have lost their lives and 20 others are injured after a portion of a residential building collapsed in Belgorod, Russia, following a missile strike.

Russian authorities have reported that Ukraine launched an attack using at least 12 missiles, including ballistic missiles and rocket artillery systems, resulting in one of the deadliest incidents in the Belgorod region.

According to Russia’s defense ministry, air defenses intercepted six Tochka U missiles, four Vampire rockets, and two Olkha rockets. Fragments from one of the intercepted Tochka U missiles damaged the residential building, as said by official statements.

Subsequent analysis of the missile debris revealed that it belonged to a Russian surface-to-air missile of the S-300/S-400 air defense system family, specifically the 5V55/48N6DM variant.

Militarnyi courtesy photo

The Russian MASH media outlet released images on Telegram showing fragments of the missile’s aerodynamic surfaces and fuselage elements, further corroborating the 5V55/48N6DM variant.

A later video recording of the explosion did not capture the incoming projectile but indicated that the blast originated from the northeast section of the building. This area is adjacent to an open area where Russian air defense systems could have been positioned.

Notably, Belgorod has been previously targeted by Russian air defense systems, with incidents involving the Pantsir and S-300 systems documented by eyewitnesses. Additionally, Russian military aircraft have been known to drop bombs over the city, resulting in explosions and civilian casualties. However, the Russian defense ministry consistently blames Ukraine for such incidents.

GLONASS Guidance Error

The Russian Air Force’s operates Soviet-vintage MiG-29, Su-30SM, MiG-31BM and Su-35 fighter jets remain badly outranged by the radars and weapons of modern Western fighters. Russia so far lost everal squadrons of Su-35 and Su-34 fighter bombers in Ukraine war.

Garmin GPS is tapped on the cockpit. An exact model of the hand-held Garmin GPS is on the right side.

The lack of identification of friend-or-foe, networking and datalink were two primary reasons the Russian air force did not operate in a formation and operating within occupied territories of Ukraine.

Captured Russian pilot Andrey Fedorchukov told Ukrainian officials that Russian Air Force distributed Garmin GPS and Pronebo mobile app to navigate in Ukraine because of the poor quality of Russia’s inaccurate GLONASS guidance system.

Russia used older generation Su-24 and Su-25 in Syria and Ukraine because the newly built Su-35 lacks precision strike capability due to an erroneous GLONASS guidance system.

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