Russia says that its pullout from its air base in Syria will be complete in just two or three more days, but it is leaving behind a more potent attack helicopter force than what was ever there before. Both the Mi-28 and the KA-52 attack helicopters have been spotted around the base within the last 24 hours. Here’s why the Kremlin is upping its combat helicopter capability just as it is pulling its fixed wing fighter and attack aircraft.
In November 2013 three South African Denel Rooivalks attack helicopters were deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the United Nations operation there. Shortly after arrival they fired their weapons in anger for the first time, attacking M23 rebel positions. Since then, these white Rooivalks have successfully engaged other rebel targets in the DRC.