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Ukrainian Forces Shoot Down Russian KA-52 Alligator Helicopter with Swedish RBS 70 MANPADS

A video circulating on social media platforms on August 19, 2023, reveals Ukrainian soldiers from the 47th Magura Brigade in Novopokropivka, located south of Robotyno, successfully targeting and destroying a Russian Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter using the Swedish RBS 70 Man-Portable Air-Defense System (MANPADS).
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Ukrainian soldiers shoot down a Russian attack helicopter Ka-52 using the Swedish RBS 70 air defense missile system. (Picture source Video Footage Social Network)

Sweden reportedly delivered these RBS 70 MANPADS (Man-Portable Air-Defense System) to Ukraine in early 2022, marking a significant enhancement to Ukraine's air defense capabilities.

The RBS 70 is a Swedish-made short-range anti-aircraft missile system. It's a man-portable system, meaning it can be carried and operated by a single individual. The RBS 70 is known for its laser guidance system, which ensures there's no need for the missile to carry a warhead that seeks its target, reducing the risk of countermeasures or electronic jamming from affecting its trajectory. The system has a range of up to 8 km and can reach altitudes of around 5 km.

The Ka-52 Alligator is a formidable all-weather attack helicopter in the arsenal of the Russian Air Force. Designed for a range of combat roles, the Alligator is adept at neutralizing both armored and unarmored ground targets, including tanks, as well as low-speed aerial targets and frontline personnel. Its agility and maneuverability make it a challenging target for enemy forces.

However, since February of the previous year, Russia has reported the loss of at least 35 Ka-52 helicopters.

In a recent development, as Ukraine's counteroffensive gains momentum, Russia has unveiled its secret weapon - the upgraded KA-52M attack helicopter - in Southern Ukraine. This advanced variant, which had not been previously seen in combat, has been deployed to escalate the conflict further. The British Defence Ministry has verified Russia's reinforcement with the new KA-52M variants in Zaporizhzhia.

Drawing from Russia's combat experiences in Syria, these heavily modified helicopters are now among Russia's most potent weapon systems in the region. A notable upgrade in the KA-52M is the integration of the new anti-tank missile LMUR. With this addition, KA-52 crews can now effectively use extended-range weapons to counter Ukraine's air defense systems, showcasing Russia's intent to dominate the airspace.

Ukrainian Forces Shoot Down Russian KA 52 Alligator Helicopter with Swedish RBS 70 MANPADS 925 003
The RBS 70 is a Swedish-made man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) designed for anti-aircraft warfare in all climate zones and with little to no support from other forces

Ukrainian Forces Shoot Down Russian KA 52 Alligator Helicopter with Swedish RBS 70 MANPADS 925 004
The Ka-52 nicknamed Alligator is the most used attack helicopter operated by the Russian armed forces to conduct combat operations on Ukrainian territory.

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