The “sekrit dokuments” meme which has grown from multiple leaks of classified and confidential documents on the forums of the well-known War Thunder multiplayer game has once again lived up to its name. As always in such a situation, the urge to win an online argument wins over common sense and results in the release of classified documents – simply to prove a point.
The leak occurred between 19-22 January, on the official War Thunder forum. A document regarding the radar cross-section of the Sukhoi Su-57 multirole jet, the Russian response to the US 5th generation F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, was published. According to various comments, the Su-57 “stealth” capabilities that rely on the plane’s radar cross-section are inferior to those of the US aircraft. Besides that, additional information was shared regarding the Su-57 airframe.
The second leak regarding the MiG-29 and its armament capabilities was published by user ZVO_12_INCH. The user shared information regarding the MiG-29’s radar properties, claiming the source as a declassified MiG-29 manual. Both posts were subsequently deleted by the War Thunder forum moderation team, yet they can be found through internet archive tools.
The same week also saw documents regarding the F-16A and the Aim-120 AMRAAM innocently shared by user “SpaceNavy90”. While the sensitive information may have been dated the forum’s moderators quickly hid the post citing a breach of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
In recent years various users have shared classified and restricted data on combat vehicles, munitions, and other planes. The extent of classified data being shared is startling to say the least. Some of the well-known cases are the leak of Challenger 2 turret’s traverse rate in 2021, along with the leak of the Chinese DTC10-125 tungsten penetrator round in June 2022. It seems that the question which remains is not if but when will it happen again?.