Monday, June 24, 2024

Ukraine’s Yak-52 trainer aircraft takes down Russian drones

Ukraine has been using Yak-52 primary trainer aircraft to intercept Russian reconnaissance drones.

Recently released footage from a Russian Zala reconnaissance drone shows a Ukrainian Yak-52 engaging in an interception mission at the border of the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

The Yak-52, originally designed as a sport and training aircraft, lacks conventional armaments and targeting systems. Despite this, Ukrainian forces have been adapting the lightweight piston-powered planes to take down Russian drones infiltrating their airspace. Media reports indicate that the Yak-52 is employed to intercept drones that venture deep into Ukrainian-controlled territories.


Given that the Yak-52 cannot carry traditional weaponry to destroy aerial targets, a passenger occupying the instructor pilot’s seat performs the role of a gunner. This inventive use of available resources has enabled Ukraine to successfully down several Russian spy drones, including models like the Orlan-10, Zala, and Supercam.

The Yak-52 boasts a maximum speed of 470 kilometers per hour and can remain airborne for up to 2.5 hours. Its agility and endurance make it well-suited for intercepting and tracking drones flying at relatively low speeds. Although primarily a training platform, the Yak-52’s versatility and maneuverability have proven valuable in countering these aerial threats.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more