Ka-52 HOKUM B / Alligator
The Ka-52 Alligator reconnaissance and attack helicopter is designed to destroy tanks, armored and unarmored military equipment, manpower, helicopters and other aircraft of the enemy at the forefront and in tactical depth in any weather conditions and at any time of the day. It is equipped with modern avionics and powerful weapons, and the coaxial rotor design and increased longitudinal control power allow it to effectively maneuver and perform complex aerobatic maneuvers. In addition, the Ka-52 is equipped with an electronic protection system and devices to reduce visibility, reducing, dispersing and distorting the thermal footprint of the engines, as well as active countermeasures.
The Ka-52 Alligator is a 2-seat version of the Ka-50 which uses a side by side layout common to transport helicopters instead of the front-and-rear layout common in attack helicopters. This changes the helicopter’s aerodynamics somewhat, reducing its maximum speed from 310 km/h to 300 km/h (192 – 186 mph), and increasing fuel consumption slightly. On the other hand, this change is expected to make it easier for the helicopter crew to perform battlefield observation and coordination roles. The extra crewman in the Ka-52 forced some reductions in fuel, armoring, and gun ammunition; it carries 240 rounds for its fuselage-mounted 2A42 30mm cannon, instead of 470 in the Ka-50.
The multi-role all-weather combat Ka-52 "Alligator" helicopter is intended for a wide range of combat tasks in daytime and night conditions, in any time of the year with the use of all destruction means of the Ka-50. This is a commander helicopter of the army aviation aimed at increasing the efficiency of group combat helicopter operations.
Coaxial-type Ka-52 helicopter differs from its predecessor by a wider nose part and twin-seat crew cockpit where the pilot ejection seats are arranged side-by-side. Both pilots have full controls of the helicopter without any limitations. The pilot cockpit is armored. The helicopter can be used as a trainer. High flying qualities of the coaxial helicopter combined with unique manoeuvrability allow the helicopter to perform combat maneuvers within the minimum air area and the shortest time to gain an advantageous attack position.
Numerous weapons options for the helicopter are achieved by arranging a movable high-speed firing gun starboard of the helicopter, and by six available external wing stores with different combination of anti-tank missiles, rockets, "air-to-air" missiles, gun ammunition of a container type and bombs of various caliber. From the point of view of the weapons power the "Alligator" is comparable with the "Black Shark" helicopter and is superior to all existing combat helicopters.
The on-board multifunctional avionics suite ensures round-the-clock helicopter piloting, navigational and combat tasks in anytime of the year. The avionics suite is comprised of a multiplexed, multi-level digital computer-based system having large storage capacity and high speed. Observation, search and targeting systems comprising head-mounted display are used for round-the-clock and all-weather detection of specified targets and their attack using optical, TV, laser, IR and radar equipment.
The Ka-52K is a naval variant that was supposed to operate from the Russian Navy's Mistral-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) vessels. Russia’s Defense Ministry planned to buy 32 shipborne helicopters from Russian Helicopters’ Progress Arsenyev division, a Deputy Defense Minister said 09 October 2013 during a visit to the factory. “These helicopters are to undergo final testing in 2014. If all goes well, we are ready to order them,” Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said during a visit to the producer in Russia’s Far East, without specifying the type in question. Progress Arsenyev will make 143 helicopters by 2020, the deputy minister added. “The work ahead is difficult, since the order really is large. But we expect it to be fulfilled to the highest standards and to deadline,” he said. Progress Arsenyev produces both Kamov Ka-52 military attack helicopters and Ka-62 light civil helicopters. The Russian armed forces have previously said they will deploy the Ka-52 on the new Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.
The first flights by Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters for the Mistral class amphibious assault ships was to take place in 2015, Alexander Mikheev, the head of Russian Helicopters company, told RIA Novosti 02 December 2014. "The helicopters of this type [Ka-52K] will be located on Mistral-class helicopter carriers, which France is obliged to deliver to Russia. The first helicopters are already constructed. The first trial flights of Ka-52K helicopters will take place in the beginning of 2015," Mikheev said.
Aviation Company "Progress" (Arsenyev, is a holding company "Russian Helicopters") is to supply the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in 2015 a total of 16 multi-purpose attack helicopter Ka-52. This was announced on 23 March 2015 by Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov. "This year, according to plan, we get 16 Ka-52 helicopters. They are already in the shops. From April to begin handing over their military acceptance and delivery to the troops," - said on his visit to the factory "Progress" Borisov.
He noted that the Defense Ministry building work with factories so that ordered products was in the army for a year rhythmically and not "dumped at the end of the year - in November and December." To do this, realized quarterly schedule delivery of helicopters.
In turn, the managing director of "Progress" Yury Denisenko Deputy Minister assured that all obligations to the Defense Ministry, "will certainly be fulfilled." He said that a long-term contract with the Defense Ministry envisages the supply of Russian Air Force until 2020, 146 Ka-52 helicopters.
At the end of 2015 - beginning of 2016. Russia deployed at an airbase Hmeymim (province of Latakia, Syria), several helicopters Ka-52 and Mi-28N. Presumably, they are equipped with the same set of weapons, which consists of a 30-mm 2A42 automatic gun, NAR C-8OFP and guided missiles "Attack" in two types.
Russian combat helicopters Ka-52 underwent a baptism of fire in Syria, Tass source in the military-industrial complex said 08 April 2016. "Along with the Mi-28N and Ka-52 also was first used in combat it is in Syria. The first use of the Mi-28N was held at the end of March 2016, in the battle for Palmyra, while Ka-52 was first activated at the beginning of April Homs district of the city, "- said the source. He noted that the Ka-52 helicopter was used to destroy terrorist groups using both unmanaged and high-precision weapons.
"Ka-52 was equipped with two versions of missiles" Attack "with anti-cumulative (9M120) and an anti-high-explosive fragmentation (9M120F) warheads. Due to the fact that in the area of ??application of the helicopter were found armored terrorists, shots were fired guided missiles 9M120F and unguided missiles (NAR) C-8OFP caliber 80 mm, "- said the source. He also stressed that the missile 9M120F proved very accurate weapons, destroying one hit with a group of terrorists in a small shelter. Not typical accuracy for a given class of munitions and missiles also demonstrated the caliber of 80 mm NAR C-8OFP.
According to a source in the defense industry, the Ka-52 deployed in Syria were equipped with on-board defense complex (GER) "On the President", which allowed to successfully suppress air defenses terrorists, consisting of the older man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). In March 2016, several "Alligators" were transferred to Khmeimim airbase and, since April 2016, had been used in various operations. Deployed in the Middle East, Ka-52K received the designation "Qatran". Both aircraft showed themselves perfectly in the not very familiar climate.
It is planned to improve the effectiveness of the use of anti-tank guided weapons. To this end, specialists are upgrading the gyrostabilized optical-electronic system (GOES-451), which will allow faster detection and recognition of targets. After improvement, the search range of an object of the “tank” type should be 10 kilometers. It is expected that the modernization was to be fully completed by the end of September 2018. It is worth saying that GOES-451 is installed on the nose of the helicopter. It is equipped with a variety of sensors and cameras. Thus, the improvement of the characteristics of the system will increase the efficiency of the use of "Whirlwind" missiles. Note that the Ka-52 install 12 missiles of this class. Their range is from 500 meters to 8 kilometers.
In particular, according to the results of the Syrian campaign, manufacturers were instructed to increase the range of optical sighting systems and aviation weapons for Ka-52 Alligator helicopters, which have been used against terrorists since April 2016. To date, the unique "Alligators" are in service in the version of the helicopter fire support troops. Under the contract signed in 2011 by the holding company "Helicopters of Russia" and "Oboronprom", by 2020, the VC will receive 140 such machines.
The Russian Defense Ministry plans to conclude a contract for the supply of more than 100 Ka-52 combat helicopters until 2027. About this in an interview 28 December 2019 with the newspaper "Red Star" said Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko. "Next year, it is planned to conclude a state contract for the supply of more than 100 Ka-52 helicopters until 2027," the deputy minister said.
According to him, in parallel, work is underway to modernize the Ka-52. It is planned to be completed in 2022. As part of the development work on the modernization of the Ka-52, the Syrian experience was taken into account: the helicopter should receive new power supply and target detection systems, increase machine security, increase the detection and recognition range of both ground and air targets, which will increase the range of weapons. Aircraft weapons will be standardized with Mi-family helicopters, also produced by Russian Helicopters.
The most obvious shortcoming of the Ka-52 is derived from the unique dual-rotor design, which can be described as pros and cons. Because the rotation directions of the two rotors are completely opposite, if the maneuvering range is too large, (such as sharp turning brakes, etc.) ) or when encountering strong winds such as strong winds under some bad weather conditions, the upper and lower rotors will easily interfere with each other under the reaction force, and this will cause a great possibility of accidents.
In addition, the Ka-52 has a big shortcoming, which lies in its very Russian-style life-saving system. This type of helicopter is the only helicopter in the world equipped with ejection seats, and European and American helicopters consider that the operating airspace of the helicopter will not be too high, so it is not very safe to be equipped with ejection seats. But the Kamov Design Bureau still designed the ejection seat for the Ka 52.
Although there is an ejection seat, the ejection process is very Russian-style - the pilot must first destroy the top rotor by the switch, and then destroy the cockpit cover, the rocket under the seat will be activated and lead the pilot to escape. This series of steps is actually very complicated. Especially in wartime, the situation is changing rapidly. Many times it will not be completed in time. It is said that it takes nearly three seconds for a pilot to complete this set of actions under normal circumstances. It will take longer, which obviously greatly reduces the chance of a successful escape.
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