11 photos of the Su-25, the Russian aircraft that was shot down over Syria

Russian Defence MinistrySu-25

Syrian rebels shot down a Russian Su-25Groch, or “Rook” in Russian, over Idlib province on Saturday.

The pilot safely ejected, but was killed on the ground after getting into a gunfight with the rebels, possibly blowing himself up with a grenade.

The Su-25 is a ground attack aircraft similar to the US A-10 Thunderbolt II, or “Warthog.”

They’re both heavily armoured. They’re both able to execute extremely low-altitude sorties and bombing raids. And they have both even been described as “flying tanks.”

Production on the Su-25, which the US calls the “Frogfoot,” and the A-10 Warthog both began in the 1970s, and they have since been used quite extensively.

Check it out below:


Production on the Su-25 began in 1978, while the A-10 Thunderbolt II was put into production in 1972.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: National Interest.


The Su-25 has 10mm to 25mm of armour surrounding the cockpit to protect the pilot while performing low-altitude strafs.

Russian Defence Ministry

Similarly, the A-10 Warthog has 1,200 pounds of titanium armour around the cockpit. These cockpits have been dubbed “armoured bathtubs.”

Source: National Interest and Popular Mechanics.


Su-25s generally carry 250 to 500 kilogram bombs and rockets, while the A-10 are often fitted with precision-guided munitions, like Maverick anti-tank missiles.

Russian Defence Ministry

The Su-25s rockets range from “pods containing dozens of smaller 57- or 80-millimetre rockets, to five-shot 130-millimetre S-13 system, to large singular 240- or 330-millimetre rockets,” the National Interest said.


However, the Su-25 can only carry about 8,000 pounds of munitions, while the A-10 can carry about 16,000 pounds.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: National Interest.


Here is a shot of a Russian mechanic loading the Su-25’s 30mm GAU-8 cannon, which can fire 2,500 to 3,000 rounds a minute.

Russian Defence Ministry

The A-10 Warthog is armed with a similar 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, Popular Mechanics said, which can fire 3,900 round per minute.

Source: Popular Mechanics and The Aviationist.


The Su-25 also has a Gsh-30-2 30mm gun holding 260 rounds mounted under the nose. Below is a shot of the 30mm GAU-8 cannon rounds.

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: National Interest.


While the Su-25 weighs less than the A-10, it also has a much faster top speed, topping off at 600 mph. Below is a shot of it taking off.

Russian Defence Ministry

The A-10’s top speed, on the other hand, is about 439 mph.

Source: National Interest.


At the same time, the Frogfoot has “shorter range and loiter time, can only operate at half the altitude.”

Russian Defence Ministry

Source: National Interest.


The Su-25 has been used extensively in Syria. In March 2016, the Frogfoot had completed more than 1,600 sorties and dropped more than 6,000 bombs in Syria in just 6 months.

Russian Defence Ministry

The A-10 has also been deployed to Syria, and in October 2016, ISIS claimed to have shot one down, which the US coalition denied.

Source: Tass and Independent.


The Su-25s have also been used in multiple other conflicts over the past decades, including Macedonia, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Russian Defence Ministry

It first saw combat in 1981 in Afghanistan, the National Interest said, where it flew more than 60,000 bombing raids and sorties. Su-25s were also used by Russia and Georgia during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.

The A-10 has likewise seen combat in nearly every US conflict since the aircraft’s inception.


While the US plans to retire the A-10 Warthog in 2022, Moscow wants to continue upgrading the Su-25 for years to come.

Russian Defence Ministry

Four of the Su-25s newest version, the Su-25SM3, which features a SOLT-25 targeting system that allows pilots to better see targets at night and during bad weather, are expected to arrive in Syria in August or September, according to Southfront.org.

It’s also fitted with new precision-guided weapons, such as the RBC SPBE 500-D, which is a 500 kilogram cluster bomb with an infrared-guided, anti-tank bomb that can penetrate 150mm to 160mm steel armour, according to the National Interest.

Source: National Interest.

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