Pair of Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters of Russian air force during Victory Day parade rehearsal
The MOD said "Russia is still failing to maintain adequate air superiority" in Ukraine (Picture: Artem Alexandrovich/Alamy Stock Photo).
Russia

Russia has lost at least 23 Ka-52 attack helicopters since invasion, UK says

Pair of Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters of Russian air force during Victory Day parade rehearsal
The MOD said "Russia is still failing to maintain adequate air superiority" in Ukraine (Picture: Artem Alexandrovich/Alamy Stock Photo).

Russia has lost more than 25% of its in-service fleet of Ka-52 attack helicopters, according to the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD).

In an update posted on Twitter, the MOD said there have "been at least 23 verified losses of Russia's Ka-52 HOKUM attack helicopter in Ukraine since the invasion".

"This represents over 25% of the Russian Air Force's in-service fleet of 90 Ka-52s, and nearly half of Russia's total helicopter losses in Ukraine."

The MOD said Russia has likely lost attack helicopters "from Ukrainian man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), while the helicopters frequently operate with less consistent top-cover from combat jets than they would expect under Russian military doctrine".

"Russia is still failing to maintain adequate air superiority in order to reliably carry out effective fixed wing close air support near the frontline, and its artillery ammunition is running low," the MOD said.

Watch: German IRIS-T is a 'new era' for Ukraine's air defence.

"Russian commanders are likely increasingly resorting to conducting high-risk attack helicopter missions as one of the few options available to provide close support for troops in combat."

It comes after the head of the Armed Forces has used a call with his Russian counterpart to restate the UK's support for Ukraine.

Their call, which discussed the need to "manage the risk of miscalculation", comes after the Defence Secretary told Parliament that a Russian fighter jet last month "released a missile" in the vicinity of a Royal Air Force aircraft in international airspace over the Black Sea.  

The MOD update also comes after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace strongly rejected Russian claims that Western powers are colluding with Ukraine on a "provocation" involving a radioactive "dirty bomb".