TechUkrainian forces use clever tactics to down formidable Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter

Ukrainian forces use clever tactics to down formidable Russian Ka‑52 Alligator helicopter

Russian helicopter Ka-52, illustrative photo
Russian helicopter Ka-52, illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikipedia

6:51 AM EST, February 13, 2024

According to him, helicopters are difficult air targets to bring down. Ukrainians often encounter challenges with Russian helicopters of this type. It is common knowledge among pilots that flying at an extremely low altitude increases safety, occasionally making them nearly undetectable by radars.

Ukrainian explains how to shoot down a helicopter, citing a practical example

"The lower you fly, the higher your chances of survival. The curvature of the earth's surface plays a key role here. When a helicopter stays just above the horizon line, it remains close to the ground, therefore escaping radar detection. This makes helicopters a formidable force. It's demanding to spot them and shoot them down with anti-aircraft missile systems because they fly low and literally appear out of nowhere," said Ignat, as quoted by the Union agency.

Utilizing opportunities effectively is vital. Yuri Ignat refers to the moment just before the helicopter's intended attack. At this point, the pilot must momentarily increase the flight altitude. Additional noteworthy tactics include drawing the enemy into traps—a strategy the Ukrainians frequently employ, consistently demonstrating its effectiveness. The recent downing of the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter is a testament to this.

Another Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter taken down

The Ukrainian command confirmed the downing of the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter on February 8th of this year. The helicopter was targeted in the Avdiivka area, where intense conflicts have persisted for several weeks. Ukrainian soldiers utilized a portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPADS) when the helicopter entered their range.

On the contrary, the Ka-52 Alligator is one of the top helicopters in the Russians' arsenal. They have been in production since 2008, fitted with two engines that each boast 3353 horsepower, and reach a maximum speed of roughly 186 miles per hour. These helicopters are well-armed, with automatic 30 mm cannons and the capability to carry missiles (for example, the 9K121 Whirlwind with a range of approximately 6 miles, enabling the Ka-52 Alligator to stay out of MANPADS fire with limited range) and bombs.

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