Monday, November 21, 2005

Soviet Aviation Losses in Afghanistan


Like the Vietnam War, the Soviet war in Afghanistan revealed the extent guerilla warfare (with the help of Stinger missles) can take down expensive aircraft and alter the balance of power (without high-tech countermeasures in place). Simply put, without air support, Soviet land troops became highly vulnerable. The above link's timeline of downed aircraft clearly reveals war's course.

Also, a 1985 comprehensive essay on lessons learned from the Soviet experience (to date) from a US military site, including this excerpt:

Evidence from Afghanistan indicates that the Soviet military has become increasingly reliant on its helicopter force. Most likely, this dependency will remain a part of the Soviet military system after the Afghan issue is resolved.

In the end, 333 armed Soviet helicopters would be downed before the Soviets fully retreated in 1989. For a pictorial view of the Afghan War, visit this Veteran's site in English & Russian.

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