In what may be the first video of its kind, the pilot of a Russian Su-25 filmed the moment he ejected from his attack aircraft.
The video, shared by the popular Telegram channel Fighterbomber run by a person involved with the Russian Air Force, shows the moment that the pilot pulled the ejection handle. Once on the ground, he can be heard communicating on his radio, saying: “Yes, yes it is normal… I am watching.”
The damaged Su-25 is marked by the bort number 09. Twitter user Mike Yeo narrowed down the aircraft to the Su-25SM registration RF-91965 flown by the 18th Guards Assault Aviation Regiment based in Chernigovka airfield, in the Russian far-East.
Based on camo demarcation and as @GuyPlopsky noted, the lack of dorsal antenna, this downed aircraft was very likely Su-25SM RF-91965/ 09 Red from the 18th ShAP of the VKS (based at Chernigovka) pic.twitter.com/WJPajKQmSe
— Mike Yeo 杨启铭 (@TheBaseLeg) October 23, 2022
The field of green forage crop indicates that the crash most likely occurred months before the video was released. The surroundings bear resemblance to a crash that happened in Belgorod in June 2022, in which a Su-25 was suspected of having clipped a power line. The pilot reportedly ejected safely.
The workhorse of the Russian Air Force
The Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot” is a rustic single-seater ground attack aircraft specifically suited to support ground troops at low altitude. Sporting a 30 mm GSh-30-2 gun, it comes in several different versions, some that can transport up to 6,400 kilograms of ordnance. The nature of its mission makes vulnerable to man-portable air defense system (MANPADS).
According to the Oryx blog, which is documenting the loss of equipment during the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, 23 Su-25 close air support aircraft have been visually confirmed as destroyed or severely damaged. It is the type of aircraft that has suffered the most losses since the beginning of the conflict.