The Ukrainian military destroyed a Russian aircraft without firing a single missile using the Buk M1 anti-aircraft missile system.
This was confirmed by the Buk M1 missile battery commander, Hero of Ukraine Yaroslav Melnyk, in an interview with ArmyInform.
“We shot down the plane without firing a single missile. We found the target, and we turned on the illumination radar. At that time, sound messages about radar exposure sounded in the cockpit of the Russian driver. He realized that he had turned from a hunter into a target. Probably, this stunned the pilot so much that he immediately ejected. The plane crashed,” Melnik said.
It should be recalled that the battery led by Melnyk repelled Russian pilots in the Kharkiv region for more than a year. They have 28 enemy targets: 11 different types of combat aircraft, two helicopters, two cruise missiles, and 13 drones.
President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Melnik the Order of the Golden Star during a ceremony commemorating Ukraine’s Armed Forces Day of the Air Force. He further stated that big groups of enemy aircraft could be seen flying over the Kharkiv region simultaneously, “sometimes number more than a dozen.”
“Our battery stood up to them alone. This means that as soon as we turn on our equipment to detect and capture a target, we will immediately become a convenient and visible target for ten Rashist pilots. As soon as they detect us, they will not hesitate to cancel their flight tasks on the bombardment of troops or facilities and instantly focus on destroying our air defense system,” Melnik said.
Since the complex can only lead to one enemy target, the crew has little time to destroy it.
“We had seconds. Turn on the equipment, and detect and capture the object. We turn on the illumination radar – in the cockpit of the Russian driver, indicators squeak and light up, signaling to him that he is already our target. All his minions in the sky already know this. We carry out a combat launch and rapidly leave our position to escape anti-radar missiles. During anti-aircraft combat, we “lead” one target. What other planes are doing at this moment – we do not see. But we realize. As a rule, at this time, they are already firing their missiles at us, “ Melnik said.
He remembered other times when the results were better than he had anticipated. Specifically, the launch of a 1983-built rocket that accomplished its objective.
“I glanced at it and wondered if it would fly to the target.” We loaded it and then launched it into combat. The nearly forty-year-old missile destroyed the target. The Russian plane crashed to the ground like an autumn leaf. “The fall video was shot by many people from various locations and published on the Internet,” Melnyk explained.
A launcher that can only hit one target at a time was able to destroy two Russian cruise missiles simultaneously.
“We realized that the destruction of even one cruise missile would be a great success. We found the target and carried out a combat launch. Our anti-aircraft missile exploded so that it damaged two Russian cruise missiles with fragments,” Melnik said.