Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Russia will use Soviet-era biplanes to draw out Ukrainian air defenses

The Russian military has quietly tested new ways of defeating Ukrainian air defense systems using Soviet-era AN-2 Colt biplanes.

It is worth mentioning that AN-2 is archaic agricultural aircraft that first flew in 1947, as the Soviet Union was rebuilding after the tumult of World War II.

The AN-2 is one of the largest single-engine biplanes ever produced. It was particularly prized for its versatility and extraordinary slow-flight, short takeoff, and landing capabilities. The AN-2 will allow simulating a breakthrough of a helicopter group or attack drones.

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Russian forces reportedly are training to use antiquated biplanes as decoys to fly them to the front lines to draw out Ukrainian air defenses. Recent videos posted to social media have shown almost a dozen AN-2 aircraft in a close formation during an exercise in Russia’s border areas with Ukraine.

A similar approach was used during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijani military has converted an An-2 airplane into an unmanned aerial vehicle. Remote-control systems were taken the place of a human pilot in the cockpit of an airplane, replacing the crew with a kit that takes just a short time to install.

According to a recent intelligence assessment, Russia has now assembled 70% of the military personnel and weapons on Ukraine’s borders he would need for a full-scale invasion of the country.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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