Live-fire tactical exercise of Baltic Fleet naval aviation

Last week, combat helicopters of the mixed helicopter regiment – being a part of the Baltic Fleet naval aviation – performed a live-fly tactical exercise (летно-тактические учение, ЛТУ) that included a missile attack on the mock-enemy airfield. The training was held at an aviation range located in the Kaliningrad region.

As reported by the Russian MoD, crews of Mi-8 multipurpose helicopters and Mi-24 attack helicopters performed a live-fire mission to destroy three kinds of targets, located within the airfield area. They included enemy aircraft, a convoy of military vehicles and a command post, meaning more than twenty individual targets.

In order to destroy them, the helicopter crews used more than fifty unguided missiles and fired more than 1,000 rounds from on-board cannons. This part of the exercise was performed at extreme low altitude with use of cover from natural terrain and vegetation. According to official release, more than twenty crews of Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters participated in this live-fire part of tactical exercise.

Another training scenario was prepared for Ka-27PS and Ka-27PL rotorcraft, that also are a part of the abovementioned mixed helicopter regiment. Within the framework of the tactical exercise, crews of those shipborne rotorcraft were hunting submarines, using a dipping sonar and sonobuoys.

Mi-24 attack helicopters, Baltic Fleet naval aviation
Mi-8 multipurpose helicopter, Baltic Fleet naval aviation

And another, separate live-fire exercise was also arranged for Ka-27 helicopters that included firing guided and unguided missiles, dropping mock torpedoes and 100 – 500 kg bombs, as well as firing onboard cannons. The crews of those shipborne rotorcraft also practised approaching the target in hostile environment, while the mock enemy was using both classical and electronic protective measures.

The separate mixed helicopter regiment of the Baltic Fleet naval aviation was formed only in 2019 and thus is one of the youngest aviation units of the Russian armed forces. As previously mentioned, the regiment is equipped with Mi-8 multipurpose and Mi-24 attack helicopters as well as Ka-27PL anti-submarine and Ka-27PS search and rescue rotorcrafts.

Although it continues traditions of two helicopter units previously existing in the Kaliningrad area and formed yet in the Soviet era, that mixed regiment represents a new Russian approach to organization of aviation units. Its predecessors were strictly divided into ´sea´ and ´army´ squadrons, being separately supervised – while the new unit combines all capabilities of the army and naval helicopter aviation under one command.

Among principal tasks of the mixed helicopter regiment, there are protection of Kaliningrad region and Russian naval bases against enemy submarines, providing search and rescue operations in the enclave and being able to support the Baltic Fleet ground and sea operations.

In the nearest future it is planned to replace the well-known Mi-24 attack helicopters with their newer variant designated Mi-35M, or even with latest versions of Mi-28 or Ka-52 combat rotorcraft.

Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopter, Baltic Fleet naval aviation
Ka-27PS search and rescue helicopter, Baltic Fleet naval aviation

All photos © Russian MoD (Министерство обороны Российской Федерации), used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. MoD press information were used.