A Russian Mi-24 helicopter survived a direct hit from a Stinger missile fired by Ukrainian troops just 800m away.
The aircraft was escorting Mi-8 helicopters as they landed at a Ukrainian airfield in the Dnipro region when the incident occurred. Russian helicopters fired heat traps and performed anti-missile maneuvers to dodge 15 Ukrainian MANPADS missiles.
The ministry said the aircraft also used the “fire carousel” tactic, a technique involving several platforms rotating in a circle and firing like a revolver. “This inflicted continuous fire on enemy (Ukrainian) positions with small arms and missile weapons,” Defense Ministry-owned Zvezda reported today.
“However, on the approach to the airfield, a Stinger MANPADS missile was fired at the leading helicopter from a minimum distance,” the ministry added.
Commander of the Mi-24 Oleg Esman said he maneuvered the aircraft in such a way that the Stinger missed its intended target i.e., the left engine and exploded near the rear of the helicopter. Though the explosion caused temporary loss of control and instruments, the pilot regained control and was able to fire his weapons again.