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Russia's Alligator combat helicopter made its debut in Syria in early April — source

The source said that the Ka-52 helicopter was equipped with the L370 Vitebsk jamming system that proved effective against terrorists' man-portable air-defense systems
Kamov Ka-52 (archive) Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Kamov Ka-52 (archive)
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS-DEFENSE/. Russia's Kamov Ka-52 ('Hokum-B') helicopter has made its combat debut in Syria, according to a Russian defense industry source.

"Both Mi-28N and Ka-52 combat helicopters have started to make combat sorties in Syria. Mi-28N was used for the first time near Palmira (Homs province) in late March, while Ka-52 has made its combat debut in the vicinities of the Homs city in early April", the source said. He pointed out, that one Ka-52 had been exploited as a "counter-terroristic asset", eliminating small groups of terrorists, using both unguided and high-precision weapons. "The Ka-52 helicopter was equipped with two types of 'Ataka' guided missile (AT-9 Spiral-2), namely, armed with anti-tank (9M120) and anti-personnel (9M120F, F stands for fugasnaya, high-explosive) warheads. As the terrorists had not deployed armoured vehicles in the area, where the Ka-52`s first combat sortie took place, the helicopter used 80mm S-8OFP unguided rockets and 9M120F guided missiles to eliminate several groups of terrorists", the source added. He said, that 9M120F fully revealed its combat potential as an anti-personnel weapon as it had eliminated a group of terrorists in a small trench, being guided via radio command channel. "Even S-8OFP. unexpectedly, turned out to be a relatively precision rocket", the source pointed out. He did not mention the losees of the terrorists.

The source said that the Ka-52 helicopter was equipped with the L370 Vitebsk jamming system developed by Russian KRET radioelectronic concern. "Before the first Ka-52`s combat sortie in Syria we registered several types of man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) obtained by the terrorists. At least, three types of MANPADS were spotted, namely, Soviet Strela-2 (SA-7 'Grail'), Igla-1 (SA-16 'Gimlet') and Chinese FN-6 (HY-6) systems. Vitebsk jammed the MANPADS, having successfully protected the helicopter", the source pointed out.

In early 2016, Russia deployed the newest Mi-28N and Ka-52 combat helicopters at the Hmeymim airbase in Latakia province to test them in combat. According to several unofficial reports, both types of rotor-wing aircraft have proven themselves to be reliable and combat effective. Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters were using the similar weapon suit, which comprised 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon, S-8OFP unguided rockets and two types of 'Ataka' guided missile, both anti-tank and anti-personnel. Mi-28N has confirmed to have destroyed at least one armoured vehicle (reportedly, BMP-1) and a small building, while Ka-52 was attacking soft-skin targets. It should be noted, that Russia`s Ministry of Defense have not officially confirmed the Ka-52`s first combat sortie yet.


The article was published on the 'Russia’s Defense Technologies' newswire.

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