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​USSR Used to Experiment With R-60 Missiles on Mi-24, Now russians Seem to Follow the Footsteps

A Mi-24 helicopter with the R-60 missiles / Open source archive photo
A Mi-24 helicopter with the R-60 missiles / Open source archive photo
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There is no better explanation as to why russia decided to use attack helicopters against UAVs

Noteworthy video from February 12, 2024 showing a Mi-24 chasing an unmanned aerial vehicle surfaced on social media. The incident took place in the sky over the Leningrad Region of russia. The circumstances of this event remained unknown, including the answers to questions whether they managed to take down the UAV or where this drone was heading.

Nonetheless, the footage indicates that such practice of utilizing helicopters for repelling UAVs is common or at least occasional, and thus poses a challenge for Ukrainian attempts to undermine russian military and critical infrastructure with long-range drone attacks. In this context, we can also recall russian attempts to hunt down Ukraine's naval drones with Mi-28 and and Ka‑29 helicopters.

Read more: ​The Mi-24 Helicopters Equipped with the R-60 Missiles: Soviet Air Defense Practice in Ukrainian Reality
A russian Mi-24 helicopter chasing an unidentified UAV in the Leningrad Oblast, russia. Video published February 12th, 2024
A russian Mi-24 helicopter chasing an unidentified UAV in the Leningrad Oblast, russia. Video published February 12th, 2024 / Photo collage compiled of still frames of the video

But this time it is about Mi-24, and there is an episode Defense Express covered in one of the previous articles, now worth recalling. Namely, the engineers in Soviet Union tried to integrate the R-60 missile with the Mi-24 helicopter to act like a mobile air defense.

To put it briefly, the Mi-24 were supposed to intercept small aerial targets at low altitudes. The missiles were installed in one following layouts: a pack of four on the main hardpoints or in pairs attached to the pylons for guided missiles. The aiming before the launch was provided by the standard ASP-17V targeting system.

The Mi-24 helicopter with the R-60 missiles
A Mi-24 helicopter with the R-60 missiles / Open source archive photo

Generally, the experience operating air defense missiles this way was acknowledged unsuccessful. However, we can now see an indication that even such ideas find their application during the war of attrition that the russian federation is currently waging on Ukraine. Although the video still leaves more questions than gives answers, there is no other anti-aircraft asset that could be used from a Mi-24 to take down this drone.

Read more: ​russia Got Eighteen New Combat Jets in 2023, Not to Mention Su-57