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HomeHelicoptersNew Video Shows Russian Gunship Helicopters Continue Using Ballistic Rocket-Launching Tactic In...

New Video Shows Russian Gunship Helicopters Continue Using Ballistic Rocket-Launching Tactic In Ukraine

Few weeks ago we reported about a video coming from Ukraine that showed Russian Ka-52 Hokum-B and Mi-28 Havoc helicopters using what are believed to be unguided 80mm caliber rockets in a pretty unusual way: the clip start with the helicopters flying at low level then pull up into steep climb, and launch the rockets at the top of the parabolic arc of their flightpath, sending them downrange. Then, the footage shows the gunship releasing flares to counter IR-guided MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) and breaking hard left and dive down to lower altitude to get out of the air defense systems kill zone.

As we explained, the above tactic, that turns the Russian helicopters into airborne MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) launchers, extends the range of the rockets but is far from accurate, and could only be effectively employed against soft area targets that do not require accuracy or be used to put psychological pressure on the enemy. It vaguely reminds the toss bombing we have seen used to deliver nuclear weapons by tactical aircraft in the Cold War era: the aircraft approached the target at low altitude and high speed, to avoid detection from the enemy radars and interception by enemy fighters. At a distance calculated by the onboard computer (that would take airspeed, altitude, gyroscopic inputs and determine the release point for the desired ballistic path), the aircraft would start a pull-up into a half loop.

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