Whereas a digicam recorded the second on April 5, 2022 a Ukrainian antitank staff took cautious goal on the approaching Russian Kamov KA-52 assault helicopter after which launched their missile. For a number of seconds, they monitored its flight, realizing that if it went erratic, they might count on a murderous volley of ordnance from what the North Atlantic Treaty Affiliation codenamed Hokum-B, however which the Russians dubbed the “Alligator.”
Then, because it closed, the missile altered course barely and speared its goal, exploding it in midair whereas the Ukrainians briefly cheered after which set about shifting their weapon to a different location, lest they attracted unwelcome aerial consideration.
The Ukrainians’ success made a welcome addition to these showing on the web, however not solely for the shootdown. Their missile had been designed as an antitank weapon, although on this event, they’d proved its capability to take down a low flying plane as effectively. Including to the crew’s elation was the truth that their Stugna-P system was made in Ukraine.
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Historical past of the Stugna-P
The Stugna-P (named for a river in Ukraine) was developed by the Luch State Kyiv Design Bureau, incorporating a laser-riding steering system produced by the Belorussia Design Bureau Peleng in Minsk. It was accepted for Ukrainian service in 2011 and took half in preventing separatist forces within the Donbas area from summer season 2014.
Luch had entertained the thought of promoting its creation to different international locations underneath the export title of Skif (“Scythian”), however the Russian-sponsored revolt within the Donbas compelled the Ukrainian armed forces to order extra Stugna-Ps for their very own use in March 2015. From 2012, the Ukrainian ministry of protection reported having purchased 650 command launch models, or CLUs, for the Stugna-P (together with a few of a smaller lighter variant, the Korsar), 150 Baryer CLUs for set up aboard Ukrainian-built BTR-3 and BTR-4 Bucephalus-wheeled armored personnel carriers, and a complete of seven,000 missiles.
They’ve already confirmed helpful in Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine. Twenty days after the Stugna’s first helicopter shoot-down, on April 25, 2022, 4 Russian tanks have been destroyed or broken close to Izyum by 4 missiles from one Stugna group in 4 minutes. Amongst others, the 112th Territorial Protection Drive Brigade reported knocking out 5 Russian autos within the Kyiv suburb of Skybyn.
Buying some notoriety in the identical sector was Tetiana Chornovol, a journalist turned member of parliament turned frontline soldier after her husband, Mykola Berezovi, was killed round Easter 2022. Now a widow with two kids, Chornovol described to a visiting interviewer how she guided her Stugna to destroy a Russian tank north of Kyiv, at which level she noticed the remainder of the enemy tank unit flip tail and retreat.
The Stugna-P’s Stats
A laser-guided antitank weapon, the Stugna-P consists of a tripod, a missile container, a PDU-215 management panel, a steering system and a thermographic digicam. Though it options semi-automatic steering, the Stugna-P lacks the fire-and-forget capabilities of the American FGM-148 Javelin or the predicted-line-of-fire function of the British NLAW. Though its operator should hold the goal in sight till affect, it does embody sufficient remote-control cable to permit him to information the weapon from a hid place as much as 164 toes (50 meters) away. Totaling 229 kilos, together with the missile, these parts could be carried in 4 backpacks by a crew of three or 4.
The Stugna-P can use any of a number of guided missiles in both of two diameters. The 130 mm RK-2S tandem-charge excessive explosive antitank, or HEAT, spherical, which together with its container is about 4 ½ toes (1,360 mm) lengthy, is able to penetrating explosive response armor, or ERA, and a couple of.6 toes (800 mm) of metal armor on a medium armored automobile, such because the Russian T-90A tank, whereas the 152 mm RK-2MK tandem-charge HEAT spherical, 4.7 toes (1,435 mm) lengthy, can punch by way of ERA and three.6 toes (1,100 mm) of armor on a heavy automobile such because the American M1A1 Abrams. The launcher can even use fragmentation rounds, the 130 mm RK-20F or 152mm RK-2M-OF, for participating enemy infantry or frivolously armored autos.
The weapon’s steering system incorporates a Selex ES SLX Hawk thermal imaging digicam that extends the efficient vary at evening or in unfavorable climate. Vary varies from so far as 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) by day and 1.86 miles (3 kilometers) at evening. The missiles value a mean of $20,000 every, and the general value of the weapons system is about one-third that of the extra refined Javelin.
Though man-portable when disassembled, the Ukrainian Nationwide Guard has tailored the Stugna-P for motorized carriage aboard CF Mototracker 800s, and the 93rd Mechanized Brigade has mounted them on Novator 4×4 armored personnel carriers.
Having confirmed itself within the discipline, the homegrown Stugna-P has earned its place beside such imports because the Javelin, the NLAW and the Panzerfaust 3 in Ukraine’s antitank arsenal.
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