No IFF: Russia Shot Down Its Own Ka-29 Helicopter

Russia accidentally downed its own Ka-29 helicopter with its air defense systems over Anapa, a town in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai on the northern coast of the Black Sea, according to local reports.

“In Anapa, our own air defense shot down our own helicopter,” Egor Guzenko, a Russian soldier who runs a Telegram channel under the call sign “Thirteenth,” wrote on Friday.

Guzenko said the Kamov Ka-29 helicopter was struck by one of Russia’s Pantsir missile systems, adding that it could have happened “due to no IFF installed on both Pantsir and Ka-29 helicopters”.

“Four people died,” Guzenko added. “Eternal memory to our soldiers.”

There have been numerous cases throughout the war where Russia’s air defenses fired at its own aircraft. More than a fifth of Russia’s known manned aircraft and helicopter losses since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war in Ukraine in February 2022 have been self-inflicted, according to data compiled and analyzed by Newsweek in late August 2023.

Russian officials haven’t confirmed the loss of the helicopter. Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier on Friday that its forces downed more than 100 drones launched by Ukraine to attack annexed Crimea, Krasnodar Krai and the Volgograd region.

“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack using unmanned boats and aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles against targets on the territory of the Russian Federation was stopped,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Duty air defense systems intercepted and destroyed 70 UAVs over the territory of the Republic of Crimea and over the Black Sea, 43 UAVs over the territory of Krasnodar Krai and one UAV over the territory of the Volgograd Oblast,” the defense ministry added. “In the northwestern part of the Black Sea, the naval aviation of the Russian Black Sea Fleet destroyed six unmanned boats of the Ukrainian Navy.”

The British Ministry of Defense said in April that Russia’s “lack of situational awareness” is driving friendly-fire incidents.

The British ministry made the assessment after reports said that Russia downed its own SU-27 over annexed Crimea on March 28. It may have been the victim of friendly fire due to “the lack of situation awareness and coordination” between Moscow’s forces, the defense ministry said.

Pro-Kyiv X, formerly Twitter, user Special Kherson Cat said that Russia’s Ka-29 helicopters are “actively used by Russians to counter Ukrainian naval kamikaze drone attacks in [the] Black Sea area.”

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