Missile “killer” helps Russia break many counterattacks on Ukraine

British intelligence said that Ukraine’s new anti-tank missile LMUR on the Ka-52M helicopter has caused a lot of damage to Ukraine in a large-scale counter-attack campaign.

In a report late last month, British intelligence described the Ka-52 attack helicopter in Zaporozhia as “one of Russia’s most influential single weapon systems” in the Zaporozhia direction when it effectively intercepted the attempt. Ukrainian counterattack.

According to the British side, Russia has made many improvements to the Ka-52 helicopter based on combat experience in Syria to create the Ka-52M variant. One of the key upgrades is the integration of the new LMUR anti-tank missile with a range of 15km on the helicopter.

With this missile, the Ka-52 crew could quickly take advantage of the opportunity to launch this missile at a Ukrainian target from outside the defense range of Kiev.

The LMUR is a light multipurpose guided missile, also known as Izdeliye 305. It is an all-weather, air-launched missile that can be integrated into many Russian helicopters, including both Kamov Ka-52, Mil Mi-28, and Mi-8AMTSh-VN.

The LMUR first appeared in 2021 and entered the Russian army in the fall of 2022. This missile was brought to “fire test” in Syria in 2016-2017.

The 105kg missile is equipped with a 25kg fragmentation warhead and has an inertial satellite/thermal imaging system. It has a built-in 2-way intercom for real-time navigation and manual navigation.

The LMUR flies at a low altitude, with a ceiling of 600m. It can travel at speeds of up to 828km/h. Combined with its low flight range, the LMUR is difficult to detect by enemy air defenses.

LMUR is the product of defense contractor KB Mashinostroyeniya, which produces missiles Iskander, Shturm, Ataka, Malyutka, Verba, Igla, and Strela.

One advantage of the LMUR is that it is much cheaper than conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, such as the Kh-59. The use of Kh-59 missiles with a 320kg warhead to hit small Ukrainian targets is considered wasteful and unnecessary.

In addition, with a range of 15km, the LMUR has twice the specifications of most NATO-supplied air defense weapons to Ukraine, including the Stinger (8km) and the Gepard Flakpanzer (5.5km). This makes it possible for the Ka-52 to strike targets outside the range of the Ukrainian defense.

Military expert Dmitry Drozdenko said that the fragmentation warhead of the LMUR will be most effective against group targets, light armor, and enemy military facilities.

“LMUR is especially effective for striking enemies in shelters or buildings. Because while penetrating warheads such as those on Vikhr or Ataka missiles are designed to penetrate enemy armor, warheads are designed to penetrate enemy armor. fragmentation of the LMUR is capable of releasing small fragments capable of destroying everything in the enclosed construction,” he explained.  

In addition, according to him, the advantage of the LMUR is the fire-forget mechanism. For example, if using Vikhr anti-tank missiles, Russian helicopters will have to maintain a laser guidance mechanism for this weapon to hit the target.

The helicopter will have to maintain the necessary distance after launching Vikhr to ensure the weapon hits the target, posing a risk to personnel. Meanwhile, the LMUR’s shoot-and-forget mechanism allows it to use an inertial satellite navigation system to fly to its target without the need for a helicopter to guide it throughout the journey. This will prevent the Ka-52 helicopter from flying into an area that could be attacked by enemy air defenses.

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