Several months after Ukraine shot down Russia’s most advanced attack helicopter Ka-52 Alligator, a video that shows the Ukrainian military loading the rotorcraft has gone viral on social media, giving way to all kinds of speculations among netizens.
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On February 24, when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the Ka-52 attack helicopters reportedly stormed the Hostomel (Gostomel) airport in an attempt to take control of the landing strip.
The Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky had previously revealed that the Gostomel Airport was the staging ground for the Russian troops to attack Kyiv and secure a decisive victory.
In the battle that ensued, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) was alleged to have lost no less than six helicopters, including the best attack helicopter in its inventory, the Ka-52 Alligator. On the first day alone, the VKS allegedly lost two Alligator helicopters, according to the UK Defense Journal.
According to tweets making rounds on the internet, the Russian crew left the Ka-52 helicopter on February 24, and no effort was made to evacuate it during the 40 days it was stuck near Gostomel Airfield.
On December 26, a video of the Ukrainian troops evacuating and loading the helicopter appeared on the internet. The timing of when the video was recorded could not be independently verified. The tail of the captured Ka-52 sports the number ’18,’ as shown in the photos and videos.
Ukrainian forces evacuating Russian Ka-52 helicopter with tail number 18, left in Ukraine by the Russian Army on February 24. pic.twitter.com/j0kvIH1Ugk
— Clash Report (@clashreport) December 26, 2022
As soon as the video went viral, netizens started to speculate that the United States may have already examined the helicopter. While this could not be ascertained, it has been widely debated that US engineers would most likely examine the Russian military equipment captured by Ukraine on the battlefield.
For instance, EurAsian Times had reported earlier this year that US and UK scientists were alleged to be studying a downed Su-35 fighter jet of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Besides, Reuters earlier revealed that at least 27 of the Russian weapons and military systems, ranging from cruise missiles to air defense systems, that Ukraine captured in combat were found to rely predominantly on Western components. This essentially indicates that Russian equipment captured in war is thoroughly examined.
Loading trophy Ka-52 with serial number 18. Landed 24.02. In a while he will be ready for combat and will return warm gifts to the country of origin💪🇺🇦 #Ukraine #UkraineRussiaWar #UkraineWar #UkraineWarNews #UkraineUnderAttaсk #StandWithUkraine #SlavaUkraïni pic.twitter.com/RTbkbrNxoc
— Feher_Junior (@Feher_Junior) December 24, 2022
Some netizens speculated that the helicopter might be refurbished and used against Russia, as has been the case with other captured Russian equipment. The Ukrainian troops have repaired and fielded many Russian T-72, T-80, and even the most advanced T-90M tanks against the invading forces.
On its part, Russia has been all too cautious about its sophisticated military technology ending in the hands of rival western countries. The concern could be even more exaggerated as the Ka-52 Alligator helicopter is the most advanced in its arsenal, with state-of-the-art features and superior kill capabilities.
Ukraine Has Brought Down Many Ka-52s
The Kamov Ka-52 Alligator assault helicopter entered service with the Russian military in 2011. It is a modernized two-seat version of the Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter, also known as the “Hokum B” in NATO, unveiled in 1995.
The Ka-52 has a ceiling of 18,000 feet and a top speed of 186 mph. Its most impressive features include pilot ejection seats and side-by-side cockpit chairs. Its six wing-mounted hard points can hold more than 4,000 pounds of weapons, including rockets, missiles, or guns and ammunition.
The right side of the fuselage has a 30mm auto-cannon. Some variants include a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera positioned on the nose.
Ka-52 destroying enemy vehicle…the crew got a bit exited pic.twitter.com/z2N4WT4j5o
— Tony (@Cyberspec1) December 27, 2022
The Ka-52 combat-scout aircraft can destroy tanks and non-armored and armored vehicles. Recently, a video recorded from a Ka-52 chopper showed how it obliterated a tank of the UAF and became a rage on the internet. Additionally, the Ka-52 eliminates enemy helicopters and men in the tactical depth or front line.
Russia’s claims that the Ka-52 can function effectively in contemporary combat zones are directly refuted by the helicopter’s performance on the battlefield, where it sustained significant losses during the ongoing Ukraine War. Ukrainian MANPADS shot down almost all of the Ka-52 lost in combat.
According to Defense and Conflict Analyst @Sierra__Alpha writing for UK Defense Journal, “The Ka-52 primarily operates as an anti-armor attack helicopter operating in support of infantry units, by deploying Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) from relatively close range, as there is ultimately a lack of long-range ‘rifle’ munitions.
The ATGM deployment, in many cases, requires the helicopter to be somewhat stationary in the air while the engagement takes place. We’ve seen several cases where even ground-based AGTM squads have brought down Ka-52s in such a scenario alongside MANPADS.”
When you successfully demilitarize your aviation..
russian air defence forces shot down their own Ka-52 Alligator helicopter in the sky over Zaporizhzhya in early December.
The crew survived. As well as the icon. pic.twitter.com/RikZsB7g7j
— Maria Drutska 🇺🇦 (@maria_drutska) December 21, 2022
By November, Russia had lost 25 Ka-52 attack helicopters in its fight with Ukraine, according to the Oryx, a group of professionals documenting the destroyed weapons in the conflict in Ukraine using visual evidence. In addition, one of the choppers was also lost in a friendly fire last week.
Social media sites have been inundated with footage showing Russian helicopters like the Ka-52 and others being shot down even since the last estimates were officially published. Nevertheless, Russia is still using this helicopter in Ukraine.
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