The situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border is still tense. The Russian army has recently begun to display several An-2 antique biplanes from the Soviet era. The formation is close to the airspace of Ukraine.
An-2 is a biplane launched by Antonov in 1946. It is mainly used for agricultural purposes. Due to its simple structure, it can take off and land at simple airports and short runways. In addition to the production of more than 18,000 aircraft, it has been in production for 45 years. The cycle has also occupied the Guinness World Record for a long time, until it was broken by the C-130 transport aircraft in recent years.
Through the slower speed of the An-2, the Russian army can simulate the formation of helicopters or UAVs to test important information such as the alertness, engagement procedures and corresponding weapons of the other air defense units when similar aircraft approaches Ukrainian airspace.
Similar tactics also appeared in the Azerbaijan-Armenian war in 2020. The Azerbaijani military directly converted multiple An-2s into drones to oppress Armenian air defense systems.
Using the advantages of this slow and non-military aircraft, it is difficult for the opponent to grasp the response scale. Because the threat level of the aircraft itself is extremely low, the enemy must still follow the normal air defense standard procedures to track and prepare for engagement when approaching the airspace.
However, if the slow plane breaks through the airspace and is shot down, it will become a political and military problem for the defender. Especially for Ukraine, the downing of the Russian An-2 at this time may just create a pretext for the other side to start war.
The same technique has also appeared in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. In 2020, the US P-8A anti-submarine aircraft flew over the islands and reefs reclaimed by China in the South China Sea many times, and recently the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Yun-12 small transport aircraft flew over my country’s Dongyin Island. Is the use of slow or small aircraft to test the opponent’s tactics.
At that time, the PLA used a laser pen to irradiate the cockpit of the US aircraft to drive away. Although this violated international aviation regulations, it was a quick and simple defense method without using anti-aircraft weapons. Perhaps the Ukrainian military will use similar methods in the future. method countermeasures.
Ironically, Annotov, which produced a large number of An-2 biplanes, was founded in the Soviet Union and is headquartered in Kiev. .