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Ukraine conflict: Russia loses more than a quarter of ‘Hokum' attack helo fleet, says UK MoD

The UK MoD has said it can verify the loss of more than 25% of Russia's ‘Hokum' attack helicopter fleet in Ukraine. (Russian Helicopters)

Russia has lost more than a quarter of its fleet of Kamov Ka-52 ‘Hokum' attack helicopters during the eight months of war in Ukraine, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ascertained.

An Intelligence Update released by the MoD on 25 October noted that there have been at least 23 verified losses of Ka-52s out of a pre-war fleet of 90 such helicopters.

“This represents over 25% of the Russian Air Force's in-service fleet of 90 Ka-52s, and nearly half of Russia's total helicopter losses in Ukraine,” the MoD said, adding, “Russian attack helicopters have likely suffered particular attention from Ukrainian manportable air defence systems (MANPADS), while the helicopters frequently operate with less consistent top cover from combat jets than they would expect under Russian military doctrine.”

The Ka-52 is the twin-seat derivative of the Ka-50, and is actually known by its NATO reporting name of ‘Hokum-B' rather than ‘Hokum', which was assigned to the now-replaced Ka-50. The type, which the Russians refer to as Alligator, is highly distinctive given its co-axial and contrarotating main rotor assembly. As such, it is not likely to be confused with other Russian types, such as the Mil Mi-24/35 ‘Hind', Mi-8/17 ‘Hip', and Mi-28 ‘Havoc' when verifying battlefield losses.

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