In a video that near-instantly went viral on Twitter, a downed Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter, one of the top-of-the-line helicopters in the Russian arsenal, can be seen sitting severely damaged and completely abandoned in a field. Watch that video here:
“#Russia 🇷🇺Ka-52 Hokum B attack helicopter in apparent forced landing after suffering damage, reportedly North West of Kiev #Ukraine 🇺🇦”
In the video, you can see the damage suffered by the helicopter, which appears to be shrapnel damage.
That would make sense, as most anti-air missiles, whether radar-guided or heat-seeking, have proximity fuses and thus explode when they get within a certain distance of their target.
What type of missile might have shot down this helicopter is not yet known. However, the Baltic nations have sent a number of Stinger missile systems to Ukraine, the famous anti-aircraft missiles used against the Russians to great effect in Afghanistan.
Noting the potential advantage of shipping Stingers to Ukraine before the Russian invasion began, an op-ed in the Hill argued that:
With over 1,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles in its growing arsenal, the Ukrainian army now has a force-multiplying weapon in its hands to stop a Russian attack. The dense forests that adjoin the autobahn make it a perfect place for Ukraine’s Javelin-equipped, tank-hunting units to attack Russian armored columns. The forests, however, are also a liability that could prevent Ukraine from deploying armored forces to protect the Javelin-equipped units. These forces would be highly vulnerable to air attacks by Russian Ka-50 helicopters, which could neutralize these pockets of defense because of Ukraine’s shortage of air defense weaponry.
The United States could swiftly rectify this problem by transferring Stinger man-portable air defense weapons to Ukraine that would dramatically reduce the Russian advantage