Upgraded Kamov Ka-52M Hokum-B attack helicopters are being used by the Russian Aerospace Forces (RuAF) for the first time as part of a response to Ukraine’s armoured counteroffensive in the nation’s Zaporizhzhia region.
On July 27, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) revealed in its daily intelligence update that the RuAF was operating “a small number” of the Ka-52Ms on the Zaporizhzhia front. It said the gunship’s improved systems allowed crews to engage targets “beyond the range of Ukrainian air defences”.
The first dozen or so of the upgraded attack helicopters were delivered to the RuAF on January 4, 2023, according to the Russian state-owned news agency, TASS. The new helicopters incorporate many features to improve their night attack and stand-off capabilities. These include the addition of a modernised GOES-451M electro-optical targeting turret with an increased range, strengthened undercarriage, enhanced communications and improved cockpit ergonomics to enhance night-vision goggle performance. The LMUR missile, which boasts a range of up to 14.5km, can be fired from the gunship and a new self-protection system has been fitted, replacing the older L370-5 Vitebsk suite that was previously used.