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Russian KA-52 helicopter losses mount in Ukraine

The Russian Aerospace Forces have lost at least seven Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopters in the space of a week as Ukraine continues on with its counteroffensive efforts.

The most recent combat loss of a KA-52 came on 17-18 June, when Ukrainian air defence destroyed 2 Ka-52 attack helicopters and 12 Russian drones on the Zaporizhzhia front where Ukraine is currently focusing its counteroffensive efforts.

While Ukraine is forging ahead with its counteroffensive it is highly likely that the main armoured effort against Russian forces will not begin until Russian attack helicopter numbers have been attrited to an acceptable level.

The KA-52 helicopter is a modern Russian attack helicopter that can perform a variety of missions in any weather and at any time of day. It is a twin-seat version of the KA-50, which was the first helicopter in the world to have an ejection system for the pilot. The KA-52 has a distinctive coaxial rotor system that gives it high manoeuvrability and stability. It can fly loops, rolls, and circle-strafing around a target.

The KA-52 is armed with a 30mm cannon, rockets, anti-tank missiles, and air-to-air missiles. It can also carry guided bombs and cluster munitions. The helicopter has a sophisticated avionics suite that includes a helmet-mounted display, a target acquisition and designation system, and a radar warning receiver. The KA-52 can operate independently or as part of a group of helicopters, providing reconnaissance and fire support for ground troops.

The KA-52 has been in service with the Russian military since 2011, and has been exported to several countries, including Egypt and Algeria. It has also been deployed in combat zones such as Syria and Ukraine, where it has demonstrated its effectiveness against enemy tanks and vehicles.

According to the General Staff of Ukraine, Russia has lost a total of 305 helicopters during its invasion of Ukraine, of which around 50 are KA-52 helicopters out of a fleet of around 150.

Dutch open-source intelligence and defence analysis group Oryx has visually confirmed that Russia has lost 90 helicopters since the start of the invasion, of which 35 KA-52 helicopters have been visually confirmed as lost.

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