Let’s Talk About Russian Gunship Helicopters’ Unusual And Inaccurate Way Of Firing Rockets In Ukraine

Russian helicopter
Russian gunship helicopter shooting rockets in Ukraine (screengrab from video ingrained listedbelow)

Some brand-new video appears to show Russians in Ukraine are turning their gunship helicopters into air-borne MRLS…

A video published on Twitter on Mar. 17, 2022, reveals an air-to-surface engagement by Russian helicopters in Ukraine, utilizing an uncommon technique to use unguided rockets. Rockets as such are not precision-guided weapons, specifically in the setting we can see in the video.

The helicopters go into a shallow dive, then climb out and launch the rockets at the leading of the parabolic arc of their flightpath, sendingout them downrange. This technique, for once, offers the rockets a higher quantity of energy at the extremely launch (as they are moving at the speed at which the launch platform is moving), however likewise extends the variety, as they are introduced upwards, and following a ballistic trajectory. The above implies that the Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters here have endupbeing sort of air-borne MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) launchers.

Russian KA-52 & MI-28 attack helicopters shooting rockets in an non-traditional method. By shooting upwards they considerably extend their variety however will have horrible precision. #Ukraine #Russia #UkraineWar pic.twitter.com/GLwDOh9vyY

— Global Conflicts (@Globe_conflicts) March 17, 2022

Unless the Russian fire control system on those helicopters has the performance to bring out this kind of NLOS (Non-Line of Sight) launch and offer the team with a approximately precise launch service, this type of attack is far from precise, and might just be successfully utilized versus location targets that do not need precision. Precision-guided weapons are likewise often released in this method, following a parabolic arc trajectory (such as JDAM bombs or assisted weapons rounds for circumstances), however here the munitions are most mostlikely unguided, thus there is, most definitely, no accuracy offered whatsoever.

The strategy, that enables the gunships to hit from longer range while stay low and perhaps outside the variety of Ukrainian air defense systems, slightly advises the toss battle we haveactually seen utilized to provide nuclear weapons by tactical airplane in the Cold War age.

Notably, the Russians haveactually commissioned the brand-new S-8OFP (С-8ОФП) rockets, according to numerous sources they have a stated a variety of 6 kilometers.

There’s little information offered on the S-8OFP – some of the western sources reference a possibility to carryout a hunter. All sources, ontheotherhand point to a dual-mode fuse – either in contact or hold-up mode – for boosted armor penetration. Assuming that S-8OFP is an unguided weapon – no there’s no method to make this approach precise. Only PGMs are ideal for this attack technique (NLOS), Also, the target designator requires to have the target within its line of sight.

Someone pointed out that the Russian helicopter teams were simply getting rid of the munitions they brought. However, videofootage recorded throughout workouts in Russia plainly reveals that this engagement technique is a part of the pilot’s training curriculum.

Film jak to wygląda od środka. pic.twitter.com/jsQeaNUpSj

— Tantal (@Tantalwz88) March 17, 2022

Oh wow, remarkably there’s an old NVA mi-24 handbook that discusses this strategy in mainly speculative terms, intriguing to see a watered down variation utilized for genuine. https://t.co/D00cY7OKvo pic.twitter.com/ugcqCKxzGl

— sith1144 (@sith1144) March 17, 2022

This is where the risk postured by MANPADS comes into play.

Polish Piorun MANPADS (MAN Portable Air Defense System), provided to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, provides an engagement variety of 6.5 kilometers and a substantial lethality at ultra-low level (below 100 meters). Thus, it might be concluded that even at the optimum variety, anti-aircraft rocket as such is a hazard to a fairly sluggish moving helicopter. It appears sensible that the teams were conscious and cautious of the capacity MANPADS risk around the target location, and attempted to engage their planned target while staying outside the variety of the air defense systems.


Standing factor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media interactions.

Source: Let’s Talk About Russian Gunship Helicopters’ Unusual And Inaccurate Way Of Firing Rockets In Ukraine.

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