Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command shared footage of one of its Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) hitting a Russian helicopter in what could be the first kill of an aircraft by a Ukrainian TB2.
In the video, Ukraine’s Bayraktr TB2 is waiting, aiming, and as the troops descend from the helicopter, a powerful explosion occurs, most likely caused by a bomb or a fired rocket.
It is unclear what type of helicopter was destroyed, but video shared by command appears to show either a Mi-8 or a Mi-17. The soldiers couldn’t all get out of the helicopter before the explosion. So far, no information on the number of victims has been released.
The attack took place on Serpent Island, which was the target of several Ukrainian attacks after it was taken by Russia.
It is unclear whether the operation that saw the TB2 destroy a helicopter took place before or after Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 aircraft struck Russian positions on the nearby island of Odessa.
????Footage taken from a Bayraktar TB2 drone shows a pair of Ukrainian Air Force jets carrying out airstrikes on Russian positions on Snake Island, Odessa. pic.twitter.com/J8d2IORRJb
— Ukraine War Report (@UkrWarReport) May 7, 2022
Video captured by a TB2 showing the attack by the fighter jets was released on May 7, while footage of the helicopter attack was released on May 8. It is possible that more than one Bayraktar TB2 drone was involved in the attack on the Russian helicopter, as the moment of the bomb attack was filmed from two different angles. Sources say the TB2 attack also took place on the night of May 7 on Cobras Island.
Ukraine’s TB2, built in Turkey, remains highly problematic for Russian assets in Ukraine and has destroyed a number of targets since the invasion began in February of this year.
Drones made in Turkey already have other kills recorded in other conflicts, as reported by the Oryx data website, including Su-22 fighter jet:
The Bayraktar TB2 has destroyed at least eight aircraft and helicopters over Libya, Iraq and Ukraine:
– 3 Su-22 fighter-bombers [LNA]
– 2 Il-76 transport aircraft [LNA]
– 1 An-32 transport aircraft [LNA]
– 1 Paramotor [PKK]
– 1 Mi-8 helicopter [Russia]https://t.co/3KVWnluSZw
— Oryx (@oryxspioenkop) May 8, 2022
Bayraktar TB2 drones can carry MAM-C and MAM-L guided bombs, 70mm CIRIT laser sight missiles, Tubitak-Sidge targeted bombs, as well as Tubitak-Sage GPS/INS.
More recently, the armed drone performed what was likely the first UAV engagement with a naval asset in a real-world operational scenario when it struck two Project 03160 Raptor patrol boats near Serpent Island.
Reports also say that a TB2 played a role in the successful attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet’s flagship warship, the RFS Moskva.