Since at least June 2022, Russian Aerospace Forces have almost certainly used Su-57 FELON to conduct missions against Ukraine, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Monday
FELON is Russia’s most advanced fifth-generation supersonic combat jet, employing stealth technologies and highly advanced avionics.
According to the UK Defense Ministry, these missions have likely been limited to flying over Russian territory, launching long range air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine.
“Recent commercially available imagery shows five FELON parked at Akhtubinsk Air Base, which hosts the 929th Flight Test Centre,” the UK Defense Ministry in a Defense Intelligence update said, adding that, “As this is the only known FELON base, these aircraft have likely been involved in operations against Ukraine.”
As to why the Russian aircraft aren’t flying over Ukrainian territory, the UK Defense Ministry said, “Russia is highly likely prioritising avoiding the reputational damage, reduced export prospects, and the compromise of sensitive technology which would come from any loss of FELON over Ukraine.”
This is symptomatic of Russia’s continued risk-averse approach to employing its air force in the war, the Ministry concluded.