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The Kamov KA-52 ‘Alligator’ is the production version of the KA-50 attack helicopter prototype, developed by the Kamov design bureau and retains its initial characteristics and distinctive coaxial rotor system. The Russians are very proud of the Alligator, as it took them over a decade to develop and complete its pre-production testing and they did not hesitate calling it “the world’s best gunship”.
Under no circumstance can we possibly underestimate this one of the most influential and powerful attack helicopters and its destruction and death carrying missions in the Russian-Ukrainian war. The range of its weapons and equipment has proven quite challenging for the Ukrainian Air Defence Forces, especially at night time. Nonetheless, creativity of the Ukrainians has no limits and eventually, the KA-52 vulnerability has been identified and exposed. As of September 2023, at least 43 KA-52s have been confirmed lost during the war, with 39 destroyed, three damaged and one captured by Ukrainian forces.
The KA-52 tag in your possession was crafted from the helicopter with the tail number RF-13428, military designator ‘89 Red’. There have not been many reports of its crash, although its airframe wreckage was found on the outskirts of Lyptsi, Kharkiv Oblast of Ukraine. The helicopter took part in the Russian Army operations in Kharkiv Oblast and was shot down just 11 kilometres from crossing the Ukrainian border. It remains unclear what has happened to its crew, but seeing the state of the wreckage, they must have vaporised in extreme fire, meeting their deserved fate!