Airbus' super-speedy Racer helicopter demonstrator should (really) fly this year

Two times, the 7 et the 15 mars 2022, several transport and attack helicopters of the Russian forces in forward deployment at the international airport of Kherson, were victims of Ukrainian attacks which destroyed or seriously damaged at least fifteen aircraft by an artillery strike and an attack of special forces. In accordance with Russian doctrine, the aircraft had indeed been deployed as close as possible to the engagement zone, so as to reduce transit times and reaction times to support the forces. Unfortunately for the Russian General Staff, the Ukrainians were able to take advantage of this weakness to carry out one of the first brilliant actions of this war. This episode perfectly illustrates a new reality that air combat units must now face, forcing them to operate from bases much further away from the lines of engagement, thereby increasing transit times and reducing one of the strengths of the helicopter in combat, namely its great reactivity. At the same time, Russian and Ukrainian helicopters paid a very heavy price for the densification of anti-aircraft systems, in particular portable surface-to-air missiles, which caused the majority of helicopter losses on both sides.

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