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Russian Attack Helicopters Utilized as Flying MLRS Platform Over Donbas

Published April 22, 2022

A mixed section of Russian attack helicopters were seen in the Donbas region of Ukraine today. This is the second time we've seen these platforms used as flying multiple launch rocket systems.


Generally speaking, an attack helicopter is used for close air support for ground troops. In the conventional sense, these systems can be employed in a direct support role allowing for the removal of opposition forces from a relatively safe distance in the skies. In Ukraine, this is not an ideal situation for the Russian pilots. As their combat operations continue, more and more they're running into steep resistance from Ukrainian anti-air defense systems. These systems range from anti-aircraft guns on the deck, which can make quick work of attack helicopters, to MANPAD systems designed specifically to defeat the Russian attack helicopters by Western Nations.


As a result, the Russians have adapted their tactics. Already once in this conflict we've seen Russian attack helicopters used as flying multiple rocket launch systems. This is a rather inaccurate method of maximizing the distance of the helicopter's munitions, but it is one that allows the Russians to keep their pilots in the air against the stiff anti-air resistance they have been meeting from the Ukrainians.


In order for this technique to be effective, the pilots have to conduct trigonometry in their head while on the fly. They angle line up with their targets near the maximum effective range of their weapon systems, and then unleash them when they hit the proper angle. I'd say that it's rather ingenious, however machine gunners have been employing their weapon systems in a similar fashion since the first World War.


josh brooks

Published April 22, 2022

A mixed section of Russian attack helicopters were seen in the Donbas region of Ukraine today. This is the second time we've seen these platforms used as flying multiple launch rocket systems.


Generally speaking, an attack helicopter is used for close air support for ground troops. In the conventional sense, these systems can be employed in a direct support role allowing for the removal of opposition forces from a relatively safe distance in the skies. In Ukraine, this is not an ideal situation for the Russian pilots. As their combat operations continue, more and more they're running into steep resistance from Ukrainian anti-air defense systems. These systems range from anti-aircraft guns on the deck, which can make quick work of attack helicopters, to MANPAD systems designed specifically to defeat the Russian attack helicopters by Western Nations.


As a result, the Russians have adapted their tactics. Already once in this conflict we've seen Russian attack helicopters used as flying multiple rocket launch systems. This is a rather inaccurate method of maximizing the distance of the helicopter's munitions, but it is one that allows the Russians to keep their pilots in the air against the stiff anti-air resistance they have been meeting from the Ukrainians.


In order for this technique to be effective, the pilots have to conduct trigonometry in their head while on the fly. They angle line up with their targets near the maximum effective range of their weapon systems, and then unleash them when they hit the proper angle. I'd say that it's rather ingenious, however machine gunners have been employing their weapon systems in a similar fashion since the first World War.


josh brooks

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