Ukraine’s 47th separate mechanized brigade reported that it shot down a multi-million-dollar Russian Ka-52 Alligator helicopter on Monday, May 13.

“Thanks to the fighters of the anti-aircraft missile and artillery division for their work,” the brigade wrote on the Telegram app.

The downing of the Alligator, which is valued at approximately $16 million, likely occurred in eastern Ukraine, where the brigade has been fighting in the Pokrovsky sector in the Donetsk region.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that, as of May 13, Russia has lost a total of 325 helicopters since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Ka-52, also known as the “Alligator,” is a Russian two-seat combat helicopter that was highly praised by Russian military bloggers at the beginning of the conflict.

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However, over the past two-and-a-half years of war, Ukraine’s taken down nearly half of Russia’s Ka-52s.

The nickname “Alligator” derives from the helicopter's characteristic shape, resembling the silhouette of an alligator. The helicopter features a pointed nose, similar to the mouth of a crocodile, and a curved cockpit for two pilots, reminiscent of the eyes of the animal.

The Ka-52 is designed for various missions, including combat, reconnaissance, and patrol duties. It has a crew of two people, a pilot, and a navigator-operator.

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Powered by two VK-2500 gas turbine engines, the Ka-52 has a cruising speed of 250 km/h and a maximum speed of 350 km/h, making it one of the fastest combat helicopters in the world.

It has a flight range of about 500 km, with modifications available featuring additional fuel tanks for extended flight times. The Alligator can climb to a maximum height of more than 5 km above sea level.

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