Ukraine antique Osa air defence system shot down Russian Ka-52 advanced helicopter

Russia’s most advanced state-of-the-art Ka-52 attack helicopter was shot down by Ukraine 9K33 Osa SAM  short-range tactical surface-to-air missile system Near Kherson.

The state-of-the-art Russian Ka-52 helicopter was shot down near the city of Kherson by a Soviet-era short-range anti-aircraft missile complex, the 9K33 Osa (Wasps) system.

According to a representative of the Ukrainian Army, based on the altitude of the Ka-52 when it was shot down, it is likely that it is on a reconnaissance mission and trying to identify the target for destruction in a subsequent wave of attacks.

It should be recalled that according to the Russian recommendation, the Ka-52 attack helicopter is equipped with a “Crossbow” radar system, capable of detecting ground targets with high accuracy. The manufacturer claimed that the Ka-52 can clearly see a tank from a distance of 12 km.

9K33 Osa SAM
9K33 Osa SAM

In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Vitebsk electronic countermeasures complex, which can alert the crew to a missile attack, but the large number of Ka-52s destroyed on the battlefield in Ukraine speaks to the low effectiveness of this weapon.

In addition, the base version of the Osa carries 4 9M33 missiles with a maximum range of 10 km and a flight ceiling of 5 km, the upgraded Osa-AKM variant carries 6 9M33M3 missiles and raises the range up to 15 km, the maximum operational altitude of 12 km.

Therefore, it is likely that the actual range of the radar equipped with the Ka-52 armed helicopter is much shorter than advertised, because the effective range of the Osa air defense complex is only a few kilometers, i.e. it must close the Ka-52 to launch.

In addition to the Osa, there have been reports of a Ka-52 attack helicopter being destroyed by a Soviet-made Igla shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile instead of the U.S.-backed Stinger, which raises questions about the true capabilities of Russia’s most advanced straight-up attack helicopter.

There was even an incident where a Ka-52 was shot down by a Stugna-P anti-tank missile while hanging in place to guide the missile. The weakness of the air-to-ground missile’s lacks of a self-guided head, which requires the laser beam to be projected until it reaches the target is evident in the above incident.

What is shown on the battlefield in Ukraine could negatively affect the export potential of ka-52 Alligator armed helicopters, first of all the contract to sell 36 Ka-52K Katrans to China.

Earlier, the Egyptian Navy canceled the contract to buy ka-52s halfway through after receiving only a few to change to the US AH-64D Longbow, due to Cairo’s dissatisfaction with the performance of the Russian helicopters.

Returning to the 9K33 Osa, this very old air defense system according to the announcement from the Ukrainian side also made many extremely large feats, even achieved higher combat efficiency than more modern missile complexes such as Buk-M1 or Tunguska.

This is surprising because the 9K33 Osa seems useless and difficult to play a role in modern warfare, especially when placed next to the main anti-aircraft missile complexes such as the S-300PS, S-300V1, or Buk-M1.

However, while the more advanced systems are relatively silent, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the 9K33 has even set a record of shooting down russia’s most advanced fighters such as the Su-34 frontline bomber or the Su-30SM multirole fighter.

This fact shows that this mobile anti-aircraft missile system that has been in use since the Soviet era will remain in use around the world for a long time, not soon to be disqualified after a relatively impressive performance.

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