Russia to deploy Ka-52 attack helicopters to Syria to protect Latakia air base
The “Hokum-B” combat helicopters will be used to protect the Russian contingent at Hmeymim airbase.
Russian Kamov Ka-52 (NATO reporting name “Hokum-B”) helicopters would be about to deploy to Syria according to a source who talked to ITAR-TASS.
The attack choppers will be used to protect the Russian Task Force deployed to Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, as well as to conduct CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) missions as the one launched to rescue the two pilots who ejected from the Su-24 Fencer shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 in November 2015 (during which, a Mi-8AMTSh Hip helicopter was hit by ground fire and later destroyed).
Interestingly, the first Ka-52 deployment will also be an opportunity for the Russians to test new technologies as the KRET Vitebsk EW (Electronic Warfare System).
According to the manufacturer, the Vitebsk can protect the helicopter from anti-aircraft threats in a range of several hundred kilometers, determining who is aiming at the aircraft and, once a missile is fired by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System), forcing it away from the designated target.
“Interestingly, when this system is onboard, it can protect not only the helicopter or plane, but everything within a certain radius, forming an “electronic canopy” around the object being protected.”
Actually, this is not the first time the Ka-52s are reported to be about to deploy or already deployed to Syria: at the end of November, Sputnik News published a video showing Hokum-B helicopters allegedly operating in Syria. Looks like the segment showing the combat helicopter was old footage filmed somewhere else.
Image credit: ITAR-TASS