MOSCOW, May 8./TASS/. A Russian Ka-52 helicopter crashed in Syria, both pilots were killed, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Monday.
"A Russian helicopter Ka-52 crashed while on a routine flight over eastern regions of the Syrian Arab Republic. Both pilots were killed," it said.
The ministry said a search and rescue team has taken the bodies to the home airfield. "According to early information, the incident may have been due to a technical malfunction," it said.
On May 3, a Russian Su-30SM fighter jet crashed over the Mediterranean Sea while moving upwards after the takeoff from the Hemymim airbase. Both pilots died. According to the Russian defense ministry, the accident might have been caused by a bird getting into an engine. The plane was not shot down, the ministry said.
The Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ reconnaissance and combat helicopter is designed to destroy tanks, armored and non-armored combat vehicles, manpower, helicopters and other hostile aircraft on the frontline and in tactical depth, in any weather conditions and at any time of day or night.
The Ka-52 is powered by two gas-turbine engines with a capacity of 2,400 hp each, which provide a flight altitude of more than 5,000 m. It is fitted with a 2A42-1 gun of 30mm caliber and is capable of carrying up to 2,500 kg of weapon payload.