In unconfirmed footage that emerged on social media on April 5, 2022, Ukrainian soldiers can be seen using a Stugna-P anti-tank guided-missile weapon system to hit and destroy a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter as it was hovering above a forest.
The video says it all: you can see the Ka-52 hovering at a very low altitude over some trees, allowing the Ukrainian operator to aim and fire the deadly tank-booster missile at the helicopter. In a matter of a few seconds, the Russian gunship is hit by the missile.
The soldiers responsible for this unusual engagement belonged to the 95th Air Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces, according to the open-source intelligence project Ukraine Weapons Tracker which shared the video.
The Stugna-P, a domestic variant of the Skif system designed for export, is an anti-tank guided-missile system developed by the Ukrainian manufacturer Luch Design Bureau. It is conceived to destroy stationary and moving ground armored targets. It offers two types of firing modes: manual, and fire-and-forget. It can be manually guided over 50 meters and has a maximum range of 5 kilometers (3 miles).
The platform differs from similar anti-tank systems, such as the US-made BGM-71 TOW, in its ability to be launched and controlled remotely, via a separate control station. The cost of one laser-guided missile for the Stugna-P is estimated at approximately $20,000 (€18,000).
Open-source information suggests that this marked the 10th Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ attack helicopter of the Russian Air Force to be visually confirmed as destroyed or captured since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In its war in Ukraine, Russia has lost more Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters than any other manned aircraft.
The Alligator is Russia’s most modern gunship. It’s heavily armed, with a 30-millimeter gun, anti-tank missiles and unguided rockets—including the same 25-pound S-8 that apparent Ukrainian helicopters used to destroy an oil depot in Belgorod, Russia, last week.