Russia has lost at least quarter of Ka-52 attack helicopters

Russia has likely lost the aircraft due to “Ukrainian man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS)”, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has said.

In a Defence Intelligence update, the Ministry iof Defence said that there have “been at least 23 verified losses of Russia’s Ka-52 HOKUM attack helicopter in Ukraine since the invasion”.

“There have been at least 23 verified losses of Russia’s Ka-52 HOKUM attack helicopter in Ukraine since the invasion. This represents over 25% of the Russian Air Force’s in-service fleet of 90 Ka-52s, and nearly half of Russia’s total helicopter losses in Ukraine. Russian attack helicopters have likely suffered particular attrition from Ukrainian man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), while the helicopters frequently operate with less consistent top-cover from combat jets than they would expect under Russian military doctrine.

Russia is still failing to maintain adequate air superiority in order to reliably carry out effective fixed wing close air support near the front line, and its artillery ammunition is running low. Russian commanders are likely increasingly resorting to conducting high-risk attack helicopter missions as one of the few options available to provide close support for troops in combat.”

What are the features of the Ka-52 helicopter used in Russia-Ukraine conflict?Oryx, a website documenting equipment losses, has photo and video evidence of 54 Russian helicopters lost in Ukraine, 53 of which were destroyed, with one captured by Ukrainian troops.

Oryx confirms that 23 of these helicopters were Ka-52s.