Video Shows How Deadly Low Altitude Helicopter Ops – and MANPADS – Really Are.
A pretty terrifying video has surfaced out of Ukraine early on Mar. 5, 2022, showing the moment a Russian Mi-24/35 gunship helicopter is hit and killed by a Ukrainian man-portable air defense system or “MANPADS”.
The video was originally posted by Ukrainian journalist and politician Ihor Lutsenko and by the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff Facebook page. It then started to be shared across various social networks.
Video of a Russian Mi-24 helicopter getting shot down reportedly from this morning. https://t.co/iCybV7ZjHW pic.twitter.com/NacZbhNGFS
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) March 5, 2022
The video was verified as being genuine. We initially had doubts it could have been doctored: the emergence of several videos of dogfights, done in DCS flight simulator but actually fake, made us almost paranoid and believe this one could also have been computer-generated. However, thanks to our followers and readers we have been able to determine the current DCS capabilities are current unable to reach this degree of realism:
Artificial explosions can look good now using higher end simulation packages, but still hard to make convincing (especially those with many “layers”). Length of footage is contraindication since high quality would take ages to render and long seqs much harder than short.
— bernielomax (@bernielomax) March 5, 2022
There’s still someone who claims it was taken years ago, but it looks like the confusion was created by a bad translation. The video has been geolocated.
Evidence for geolocation // 50.758838, 30.366019 pic.twitter.com/LXgvWIuQVv
— Edoh 🗺️ (@zwedowz) March 5, 2022
The footage must have been taken by a drone (possibly a quad-rotor type like the DJI series), with some sort of HDR enhancement filter (possibly applied in post-processing phase) that would explain the extremely vivid colors. The drone was possibly pointing at the right direction at the right time because it was being used to spot Russian forces movements, or just because the remote operator had heard the noise of the chopper.
Never seen such an HD quality video with (possible) HDR enhancement previously from theatre. But maybe someone was pointing a DJI in the right direction at the right moment.
— David Cenciotti (@cencio4) March 5, 2022
That being said, the clip is perhaps the clearest ever video of an operational use of a small, man-portable air defense missile being used in an operational setting. It clearly demonstrates the lethality of lightweight, highly portable, shoulder-fired missile systems used for point air defense at short range against low-flying targets like combat helicopters.
Сбитая авиация русской армии
Баштанский р-н pic.twitter.com/KQjit9xy2p
— IgorGirkin (@GirkinGirkin) March 5, 2022
On Monday, news sources reported that, “the US is shipping hundreds of FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS to Ukraine, with 200 arriving on Mar. 1 alone. Latvia and Lithuania are also sending Stingers to bolster Ukrainian air defense capabilities.”
Some readers have pointed out the Stinger is not suitable for such a low flying target, suggesting the hit was taken with by Polish Piorun GROM Thunder MANPADS.
While it is not verified if this was a FIM-92 Stinger missile in this video, the video does reinforce the lethality of this category of weapons and their effectiveness. The video also shows how dangerous the low-altitude flight environment is for crews from both sides flying in the war zone.
A big thank you to all our readers and followers who helped us in the verification of the video and provided details, insights and explanations about it!
NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System detected no fire at the alleged helicopter crash site. This confirms the video is a fake.
You know this isn’t a MI24 don’t you? And you know it’s not painted in Russian military colors, right?
If you will allow me a small observation, why is the video in low resolution during the flight of the missile, the impact and fall, and suddenly, voila!, at 0:06 seconds it becomes high resolution? Why wasn’t in HR the whole time? It doesn’t smell good to me.
If you permit, just a few physics based considerations:
-Why the heli does not cast a shadow while the smoke does? It does not look like a sunny day anyway.
-In the wake of the hit, the smoke should go up instead of down, it is hotter than cold air after all. This looks rather recorded dry ice if not simulation!!