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How russians Changed the Tactics of Using Ka-52 After Losing at Least 20% of Such Helicopters

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russia's Ka-52 during the war against Ukraine / Illustrative photo from open sources
russia's Ka-52 during the war against Ukraine / Illustrative photo from open sources

And what will the Armed Forces of Ukraine be able to oppose to increase the losses of the occupiers

The authors of Defense Romania dedicated an article to how russians changed the way they use attack helicopters in the war against Ukraine.

To begin with, analysts of the publication point out that now russia’s aviation group has overall 330 helicopters near Ukraine’s border and the front line, most of them are the Ka-52 – about 100 units. At the same time, it was the Ka-52 that the occupiers suffered the heaviest level of losses – at least 30 helicopters, or at least 20% of the fleet.

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How russians Changed the Tactics of Using Ka-52 After Losing at Least 20% of Such Helicopters, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's Ka-52 during the war against Ukraine / Illustrative photo from open sources

Considering that attack helicopters for russia are in short supply, the army was forced to take some organizational measures. In this case, only the time will show their effectiveness.

For example, the russian military does not risk crossing the front line with the Ka-52s, so as not to come under Ukraine’s MANPADS fire. Instead, russians operate their helicopters only along the demarcation line, firing mostly unguided air-launched missiles.

How russians Changed the Tactics of Using Ka-52 After Losing at Least 20% of Such Helicopters, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Ka-52 attack helicopter / Illustrative photo from open sources

In order to avoid unnecessary losses, due to successful airfield shelling conducted by Ukraine’s forces, the occupiers began to build protective structures for their attack helicopters as well.

For example, according to open source photos, the 440th helicopter regiment personnel in Taganrog built improvised fortifications from earthen mounds, rubber tires, metal containers and elements of concrete structures to protect their Ka-52s. But there is no definitive data yet on how common this approach among russians is.

How russians Changed the Tactics of Using Ka-52 After Losing at Least 20% of Such Helicopters, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's Ka-52 during the war against Ukraine / Illustrative photo from open sources

Another interesting innovation is moving away from single sorties of attack helicopters, and switching to sorties at least in pairs.

At the same time, the occupiers are more actively applying the co-flight between the Ka-52 and Mi-28, as these helicopters allegedly complement each other both in terms of striking characteristics and in terms of opportunities to counter Ukraine’s air defense.

How russians Changed the Tactics of Using Ka-52 After Losing at Least 20% of Such Helicopters, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's Ka-52 and Mi-28N in one flight formation / Illustrative photo befor 24.02.2022

The authors of Defense24 are convinced that even if russian occupiers suddenly decide to use their Ka-52s even more actively in battles against Ukraine, it will be enough for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to increase the density of air defense equipment in the near-front and front-line zones by redistributing available forces and means.

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