ATACMS: Ukraine destroys record number of Russian helicopters

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The first estimates of the attacks on Luhansk and Berdyansk announced the destruction of nine Russian helicopters. Finally, satellite images confirm that the first Ukrainian ATACMS strikes did indeed damage or destroy nearly 21 Russian helicopters.

Operation Dragonfly

On October 17, the Ukrainian Armed Forces launched Operation Dragonfly. This operation consisted of the launch, for the very first time in Ukraine, of MGM-140A ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles. Two targets were targeted: Berdyansk and Luhansk airports. These two airports are used by the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine as a base for numerous helicopters. The first videos confirmed the destruction of several Russian helicopters and an estimate of nine helicopters destroyed (article on the subject).

A figure revised upwards

With recent satellite images of the two airports, it is now possible to confirm that 21 helicopters were damaged or destroyed in this strike. Berdyansk airport is suffering the most, with 15 helicopters hit or destroyed, and 6 in Luhansk (images below). This strike shows that the M142 HIMARS and/or M270 MLRS multiple rocket launchers delivered are increasing in power: after the GPS-guided rockets with a range of 80 kilometers, the arrival of the MGM-140A opens up the possibility of striking at 165 kilometers. . while waiting for the arrival of the GLSDB, whose range will be 150 kilometers.

These launchers will not, however, be the key to the Ukrainian conflict, but after 1.5 years of war, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are finally obtaining precision ground-to-ground means to strike Russian strategic targets located deep within the Russian system. The destruction of so many helicopters thus demonstrates that in the long term, these weapons will prove decisive, gradually limiting Russian capabilities in Ukraine (logistics depots, airports, troop assembly, etc.).

John Walker Avatar