Savronik Banner
Koluman

Russian Helicopter Engages Ukrainian USV Carrying Missiles

Russian Helicopter Engages Ukrainian USV Carrying Missiles

 Footage of a Russian Ka-29-armed helicopter engaging a Ukrainian USV carrying an R-73 infrared-guided air-to-air missile was shared on social media. The USV was spotted with the R-73 (AA-11 Archer) within-visual-range air-to-air missile mounted on a fixed launcher. A second slot that wasn’t occupied can also be seen. While the purpose of fitting the USV with an air-to-air missile used by fighter jets is unknown, there are two possibilities. The first possibility is using USVs to attack unsuspecting aircraft at sea. The practice of doubling air-to-air missiles has been common since the Cold War as a logistically easy way to hunt aircraft in open waters. If the missiles were fitted to hunt aircraft in open waters, this would mark the first time a USV was fitted for an air defence role. The second would be using the USVs armed with R-73 missiles against small surface vessels by locking them onto the heat signature. It is possible to adapt IR-guided air-to-air missiles to track surface targets, as shown by the AIM-9X Sidewinder, the U.S.-made counterpart of R-73, with software modifications hitting a small boat during a test. Regardless of which one it is, the footage points out Ukraine trying new ways to arm its USV fleet, which has been a thorn in the Russian Navy’s side with repeated kamikaze USV attacks.

FNSS