For the first time Russian unmanned helicopter was shot down by Ukraine

For the first time, a Russian KBLA-IVT unmanned helicopter was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers with Stinger MANPADS

On April 21, the Ukrainian Army released a photo, announcing that, for the first time in the eastern region, they used a mobile Stinger anti-aircraft missile to shoot down a Russian S-100  unmanned helicopter in the eastern region. 

Earlier, the unmanned Russian helicopter was confirmed to appear in the Ukrainian battlefield. However, judging from the photos of the wreckage released by the Ukrainian Army, it is clear that they have the wrong model. Because it can be recognized from the details and the manufacturer’s logo that this is not the Russian army’s S-100 unmanned helicopter, but a KBLA-IVT unmanned helicopter.

KBLA-IVT unmanned helicopter
KBLA-IVT unmanned helicopter

Unlike the S-100, which mainly performs reconnaissance missions, the KBLA-IVT is actually used as a target aircraft in the Russian army, while in the Ukrainian battlefield, the aircraft is used as an air decoy by Russia to avoid causalities.

KBLA-IVT UAV is developed by the Russian company Tekhnodinamika, this is a new device, just put into service in the Russian Army on December 24, 2020; ie less than a year and a half of service. And the S-100 UAV is old equipment from the Russian Army.

According to import records, the Russian Army has been importing S-100 unmanned helicopters from Austria since 2011, and then directly purchased a production license for assembly and production in Russia.

Although the two unmanned helicopters KBLA-IVT and S-100 are similar in layout and aerodynamic design, but they are completely different in terms of their  purpose

The maximum take-off weight of the S-100 UAV is about 200 kg, the belly is equipped with advanced three-in-one (optical, infrared and laser) photoelectric pods, so it mainly performs reconnaissance missions. S-100 can fly continuously in the air for 6 hours, the maximum control and data transmission radius is 180 km.

The KBLA-IVT is completely different. Its maximum take-off weight is 315 kg and its size is larger, but it is not equipped with an independent optoelectronic pod, because the original intention of the aircraft was to be used as a target aircraft for weapon finalization testing and Targeted by air defense units. So it does not need a reconnaissance payload, and only a flight camera is arranged under the nose. In terms of continuous flight capability, since KBLA-IVT does not undertake battlefield reconnaissance tasks, it does not have high requirements in terms of battery life. It can only fly for 2 hours, and the maximum control distance is 150 kilometers.

Since KBLA-IVT cannot perform reconnaissance missions, what is the intention of the Russian army to use the aircraft on the battlefield? This can actually be inferred from the flight characteristics of KBLA-IVT itself. Since it is a target drone, its flight characteristics must be broad so that it can simulate various target equipment.

According to the promotional materials of Russian manufacturers, in addition to simulating helicopters, KBLA-IVT can also simulate small and medium-sized tactical unmanned reconnaissance aircraft with slow flight speeds. So from this point of view, the Russian army can use the aircraft to simulate its own helicopters or small UAVs deliberately flying on the battlefield, to lure the remaining Ukrainian beech or S300 and other air defense systems to open fire, expose their positions, and then patrol on duty Fighter strikes.

However, since KBLA-IVT’s maximum mission flight altitude is only 2,500 meters, it is still in the kill zone of portable air defense missiles, so it is also easy to provoke and guide on the battlefield. The KBLA-IVT this time was shot down by the Ukrainian stinger, which failed to lure the medium and long-range air defense system. However, this time the KBLA-IVT UAV was shot down by the Ukrainian air defense forces with a Stinger missile, but did not attract the Ukrainian Army’s medium and long-range air defense systems to fire, as desired by the Russian commander.

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