Crazy Footage Shows Russian Helicopter Destroying Ukrainian Drone Vessel Carrying R-73 Missile

Ka-27 USV
Footage released by the Russian MOD shows a Ka-27 engaging and destroying a Ukrainian USV.

A Russian Kamov Ka-27 Helix helicopter destroyed a Ukrainian USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) that was carrying an R-73 air-to-air missile.

Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), also referred to as “drone boats” or “drone vessels”, have emerged as a significant threat to Russian warships in the Black Sea. These USVs are equipped with advanced capabilities that enable them to carry out attack various missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and, importantly, offensive operations against Russian Navy vessels.

The use of USVs by Ukraine reflects a broader trend towards the integration of unmanned systems into modern naval operations. As technology advances and USVs become more capable, they are likely to play an increasingly important role in naval warfare, challenging traditional maritime strategies and tactics.

The threat posed by these USVs stems from their small size and agility; they are difficult to detect and intercept.

Ukrainian uncrewed boats have carried out some notable attacks on Russian warships in the Black Sea, like the kamikaze attacks on the Russian corvette Ivanovets (Jan. 31, 2024) and the Russian tank landing ship Caesar Kunikov (Febr. 14, 2024)

The most recent of such attacks occurred on May 6, 2024, when a Magura V5 USV destroyed the Russian high-speed patrol boat of project 12150 “Mongoose”.


On the very same day, some interesting footage has emerged from the Russian side. Several clips in fact show a Kamov Ka-27 Helix helicopter using the cannon to attack a Ukrainian USV. Some videos were filmed from the cockpit of the Russian helicopters, another clip was taken from distance, most probably from another vessel/warship.

What makes the engagement particularly noteworthy is the fact that the USV appears to have an R-73 air-to-air missile on top of it, suggesting the unmanned vessels are also used as moving SAM (Surface to Air Missile) batteries with Infra-Red air-to-air missiles.

The Russian MOD said forces of the Black Sea Fleet destroyed five unmanned boats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the area of ​​the northwestern coast of the Crimean Peninsula.

According to the Russian Fighterbomber Telegram channel, “the Ukrainians were able to somehow connect the rocket with the USV telecontrol systems and are trying to work with them… At the moment, the most effective means against USVs are helicopters.”

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.