The military demonstrated Hydra rockets on Ukrainian helicopters
The Ukrainian military demonstrated American Hydra 70 rockets integrated into a Ukrainian army aviation Mi-24V helicopter.
The video with the new weapons was published on social media.
Hydra 70 is an American unguided 70mm rocket used to defeat enemy equipment and manpower. Its transfer as part of military assistance was first reported in May this year.
In the video, the pilot is loading a rocket into a 19-round M261 launcher. The pod is mounted on the hardpoint of the Mi-24V helicopter.
Ukrainian aviation uses Hydra rockets to conduct distant strikes by low-toss firing. Their effective range when shooting in this mode reaches 3 to 4 kilometers, depending on the rocket modification and the helicopter’s flight parameters, such as speed and altitude.
American ammunition is gradually replacing Soviet S-8 80mm unguided rockets, which are already depleted due to their active use by Su-25 attack aircraft and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.
In addition to unguided rockets, the United States also supplies Ukraine with their APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System) guided version. The rocket is integrated with a semi-active laser guidance system and a control unit with sliding wings.
The drone guides the missile to the target by illuminating the object with a laser beam until it is hit.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of Ukrainian aircraft using these rockets. However, Militarnyi reported on the Ukrainian Marine brigades using them from ground launch platforms.
In addition to 70mm unguided rockets, the Armed Forces of Ukraine also has a larger version of them in the form of Zuni 127mm rockets.
Ukrainian aircraft have been using these rockets since January 2023 instead of the already scarce Soviet S-13 122mm missiles. The main platforms for their use are Su-25 attack aircraft, although it is possible to install them on helicopters.
Rockets with a 20-25 kilogram warhead, depending on the modification, are able to hit targets spatially dispersed at a distance of up to 8 kilometers. The rockets are fired from LAU-10 launchers for 4 missiles.
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