ROLE Attack helicopter
DEVELOPER Kamov Design Bureau
MANUFACTURER Progress Arsenyev Aviation
Expand Ka-52 helicopter can be operated at a maximum altitude of 5,500m.
Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather attack helicopter in service with the Russian Air Force.
Ka-52 Alligator is a two-seat version of the Ka-50 attack helicopter.
Ka-52 Alligator is equipped with two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines.
Ka-52 helicopter can be operated at a maximum altitude of 5,500m.
Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather attack helicopter in service with the Russian Air Force.
Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather attack helicopter operated by the Russian Air Force. Developed by Kamov Design Bureau (part of Russian Helicopters), Ka-52 is a twin-seat variant of the Ka-50 attack helicopter.
“The first Ka-52 helicopter was rolled out in December 1996. The helicopter completed its first flight in June 1997.”
The Ka-52 helicopter can destroy enemy armoured and unarmoured ground targets, low-speed aerial targets and personnel at the frontline and in tactical depth. It is also deployed as a surveillance platform and aerial command post for a group of attack helicopters.
The first Ka-52 helicopter was rolled out in December 1996. The helicopter completed its first flight in June 1997. The serial production of Ka-52 began in 2008 at Progress Arsenyev Aviation plant in the Primorye region of Russia.
Russia plans to equip its proposed Mistral Class amphibious assault ships with Ka-52Khelicopters. Ka-52K is a naval variant of the Ka-52 Alligator.
Orders and deliveries of the Russian helicopter
In December 2010, the Russian Air Force’s 334th Tactical Deployment Centre in Torzhok received three Ka-52s. The twin-seat Ka-52 will serve in the air force as a special mission helicopter.
The Russian Air Force began fielding Ka-52 helicopters in April 2011. The Ka-52 will replace the Ka-50 Black Shark fleet that is in service with the Russian Air Force.
Ka-52 design, cockpit and avionics
Ka-52 incorporates a slightly modified design of the Ka-50 helicopter. The helicopter features a wider nose and an extended fuselage due to its twin-seat cockpit. The commonality of the airframe, components and systems of the two variants is about 85%.
“The Ka-52 will replace the Ka-50 Black Shark fleet that is in service with the Russian Air Force.”
The helicopter has a length of 16m, height of 4.9m and main rotor diameter of 14.5m. The maximum take-off weight of the Ka-52 is 10,800kg.
The twin-seat cockpit accommodates two crew members in side-by-side arrangement. Both the crew members are seated on identical K-37-800M ejection seats. The modern glass cockpit is equipped with a head-up-display (HUD), four SMD 66 multifunction displays, helmet-mounted sight display, image intensifiers and a GPS receiver. The helicopter also integrates a FAZOTRON cabin desk radio-locator and navigation and attack system for helicopters (NASH).
In September 2012 Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, signed a long-term contract with Ramenskoye Design Company (RDC) for deliveries of avionics equipment. As part of the contract, RDC is responsible for the supply of avionics packages for Ka-52 attack helicopter and Ka-52K advanced ship-based variant between 2013 and 2020.
Armaments on the attack helicopter
The starboard side of the fuselage is fitted with a NPPU-80 movable gun mount installed with 2A42 30mm automatic gun. The six wing-mounted external hardpoints can be attached with different combinations of weapons.
The hardpoints can carry VIKHR anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), ATAKA missiles with laser guidance system and B8V-20 rocket launchers for 80mm unguided S-8 rockets. VIKHR anti-tank missile has a range of eight to ten kilometres. The Ka-52s can also be armed with IGLA-V anti-aircraft guided missiles.
Sensors, radars and countermeasures
The Ka-52 helicopter is fitted with a mast-mounted radome housing a Phazotron FH-01 Millimeter Wave Radar (MMW) radar with two antennas for aerial and ground targets.
The countermeasures are supported by active IR and electronic jammers, radar warning receiver (RWR), laser detection system, IR missile approach warning sensor and UV-26 flare / chaff dispensers in wing-tip fairings.
Engines and performance of Russia’s Ka-52
The Ka-52 Alligator is powered by two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines driving two coaxial contra-rotating main rotors. Each engine produces a maximum take-off power of 2,400hp. The engines are equipped with a new full authority digital control system (FADEC).
The Ka-52 helicopter can fly at a maximum altitude of 5,500m. The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 300km/h and 260km/h respectively. The helicopter can climb at a rate of 12m/s. The Ka-52 has a practical flight range of 460km, while its ferry flight range is 1,110km.
Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter
The Russian Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter.
The Ka-50 Black Shark helicopter, developed by Kamov Helicopters JSC, carries the Nato codename Hokum A, with Hokum B the two-seat version, Ka-52. Ka-50 is also known as Werewolf. It is a high-performance combat helicopter with day and night capability, high survivability and fire power to defeat air targets and heavily armoured tanks armed with air defence weapons. It entered service with the Russian Army during 1995 and is manufactured at the Sazykin Aviation Company Progress based in Arseniev Maritime Territory, Russia.
A first batch of eight Ka-50 aircraft has been delivered. 12 Ka-52 were to be procured for Russian Air Force special operations in 2005, but funding for the programme was cut from the 2005 budget. As of late 2008, the Russian Air Force operated 15 Ka-50 and ten Ka-52 helicopters
A night attack version, Ka-50N, with Samshit-50T thermal imager, day TV and laser rangefinder has been developed, and Kamov has also joined with Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) to produce a version, the Ka-50-2 Erdogan that is compatible with Nato weapons and has an Israeli equipped cockpit.
Ka-50 attack helicopter design
The coaxial rotor design provides a hovering ceiling of 4,000m and vertical rate of climb of 10m a second at an altitude of 2,500m. The rotor blades are made from polymer materials. The coaxial-rotor configuration results in moments of inertia values relative to vertical and lateral axes between 1.5 to two times less than the values found in single-rotor helicopters with tail rotors. Absence of the tail rotor enables the helicopter to perform flat turns within the entire flight speed range. A maximum vertical g-load of 3.5 combined with low moments of inertia give the Ka-50 a high level of agility.
Extensive all-round armour installed in the cockpit protects the pilot against 12.7mm armour-piercing bullets and 23mm projectile fragments. The rotor blades are rated to withstand several hits of ground-based automatic weapons.
The Ka-50 is the world’s first operational helicopter with a rescue ejection system, which allows the pilot to escape at all altitudes and speeds. The K-37-800 rocket-assisted ejection system is manufactured by the Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise Joint Stock Company in the Moscow region.
Ka-50 Black Shark orders
A request for proposal (RFP) to buy 22 attack helicopters was issued by the Indian Defence Ministry on 30 May 2008 as part of the $550m contract. The request determnined the attack helicopter should encompass weapons to boost the Indian Air Force’s surveillance and combat capabilities.
The air force also required that the helicopter would weigh 2,500kg or more when empty and have two engines. It should encompass a modern anti-armour capability along with a turret gun of 20mm or higher calibre and be able to fire 70mm rockets a range of 1.2km. The helicopter should be capable of working in all weather, day and night, and in desert and mountaineous regions.
The second RFP was issued in June 2009, stating that around 384 additional light helicopters were cleared for purchase. The $2bn order was for the Indian Air Force and Army, of which 125 would be for the air force and 259 for the army.
A combination of various armaments to a maximum weapon load of 2t can be selected according to the mission, including anti-tank missiles, unguided aerial rockets of different calibres, air-to-air missiles, guns, bombs and other weapons.
The helicopter has small mid-mounted wings, fitted with four underwing suspension units and wingtip countermeasures pods. Up to 12 Vikhr supersonic anti-tank missiles can be mounted on the helicopter’s two underwing external stores. The laserbeam-riding Vikhr missile is stated as having a target hit probability close to one, against a tank at a range of up to 8km, and the capability of penetrating all types of armour, including active armour up to 900mm thick.
The Ka-50 is armed with a 2A42 quick-firing 30mm gun, which has an unrestricted azimuth and elevation range mounting for use against airborne or ground targets. The gun is equipped with 460 rounds of ammunition: two types being carried, high-fragmentation and explosive incendiary rounds and armour-piercing rounds. The pilot selects the type of ammunition in flight. The weight of the ammunition is 0.39kg each round, the muzzle velocity is 980m/s and the range is up to 4km. The gun provides an angular firing accuracy of two to 4mrad.
Flight systems include inertial navigation system (INS), autopilot and head-up display (HUD). Sensors include forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and terrain-following radar.
The Ka-50 is fitted with a radar warning receiver, electronic warfare system and chaff and flare dispenser.
The Ka-50 is powered by two TV3-117VMA turboshafts engines, each providing 2,200hp (1,660kW). The engines are placed on either side of the fuselage to enhance the combat survivability. The helicopter also has an auxiliary power unit (APU) for self-contained operation.
The Ka-50 attack helicopter can climb at a rate of 16m/s. It can fly at a maximum speed of 390km/h. The maximum range and service ceiling of the helicopter are 1,180km and 5,500m respectively. It can fly at a cruise speed of 270km/h. The combat radius and disc loading of the helicopter are 460km and 30kg/m² respectively. The endurance of the helicopter is three hours. The helicopter weighs around 7,800kg and the maximum take-off weight is 10,800kg.