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 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.
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 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.
From the book of A. Mazepov, A. Mihkaev, V. Zenkin, A Zhirnov and A. Fomin about the Ka-50 called Polygon from 1996, on Page 31, there is said how the Armor was made on Ka-50 and after that also installed on Mi-28.
It is a 3 hardlinered armor, the inner cockpit section made of a full single titanium alloy “bathtub” covering both pilots, followed by a middle liner of ceramic plates, which caused trouble first after a single shot they break apart and lost all its protective abilities, they avoided that by covering this ceramic plates with kevlar/aramid that was glued on tightend and the outer liner which gives the aerodynamic shape and is made of alluminium alloy with a part carbon in it. The total armor per pilot for russian Ka-50 which they could use was about 300kg while the Apache uses about 90kg of armor per pilot. The Mi-28 has about 250-280kg which was mentioned somewhere else. The Ka-52 has less armor than both Mi-28 and Ka-50 spend for each pilot but it is still in the figure of 150-200kg. (Source:Russian Defense)
Helmet-mounted sight display, image intensifiers and a GPS receiver
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).
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.
2A42 30mm automatic gun
The 30mm automatic gun is designed for firing at light armored targets within a distance up to 1500 m, non-armored targets within a distance up to 4000 m and also at low-flying subsonic air targets up to 2000 m within a slant distance of 2500m. The gun can be fired in single shots or in burst (low or high rate of fire). It offers reliable functioning under severe conditions, such as temperature range from +50°C up to -50°C, in rain, dust, frost and in very dry environment.
TECHNICAL DATA OF 2A42
|Number of grooves||16|
|Twist of grooves||715,5 mm|
|Rate of fire||high||min 550 rounds/min|
|Gun weight||115 kg|
|Barrel weight||38,5 kg|
|Recoiling force||40-50 Kn|
|Length of the gun||3 027 mm|
|Voltage of the trigger electric source, contact system||27 +2/-5 V|
|Feeding||Two belt type|
|Recocking||Pyrotechnical or manual|
|Number of powder cartridges||3|
|Force required to cock the gun by hand for:|
|– loading||up to 400 N|
|– re-loading with simultaneous extraction of misfired round||up to 600 N|
2A42 30mm specification source @ztsspecial.sk
2A42 30mm automatic gun has a dual feed system one is for HE-T and the other for AP-T rounds. The gunner can select one of two rates of full automatic fire, low at 200 to 300 rds/min and high at 550 to 800 rds/min. According to the manufacturer, effective range whenengaging ground targets such as light armoured vehicles is 1,500 m while soft-skinned targets can be engaged out to 4,000 m.
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.
VIKHR anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) The missile is designed to engage vital ground targets, including armoured targets fitted out with built-in and add-on explosive reactive armor, at a range of upto 8 km when fired from a helicopter and 10 km when fired from a fixed-wing aircraft in daytime and up to 5 km at night, as well as air targets in conditions of air defense assets activity. ATAKA missiles with laser guidance system range of 8,000 m t0 10,000 m. The improved warhead can penetrate over 950 mm of RHA after ERA.
B-8 V20A rocket pods The S-8 is a rocket weapon developed by the Soviet Air Force for use by military aircraft. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force and various export customers. the S-8 is an 80 mm (3.1 in) rocket used by fighter bombers and helicopters range is 2 to 4 kilometers.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.
Ka-52K attack helicopter poised for AESA radar upgrade
The navalised variant of the the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum-B) attack/reconnaissance helicopter – the Ka-52K Katran – will be equipped with a compact active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar from Russian defense contractor Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET), a company spokesperson told IHS Jane’s .
KRET claims that its AESA radar will be able to operate in the millimetric wavelength for effective ground target acquisition as well as the centimetric spectrum to enable large naval targets to be detected at a range of 180 km.
The radar is also capable of detecting low-altitude aerial targets such as cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), providing data to cue onboard electro-optical devices and corresponding weapons to these targets.
Flight safety is enhanced with ground moving target indication and tracking modes, which assists the crew in coping with low visibility conditions such as fog, dust and night-time operations. The radar also detects ground obstacles including transmission towers and power lines.
The Ka-52K helicopter – developed to sink amphibious landing ships as well as the transports of enemy strike groups and convoys with its ability to employ anti-ship cruise missiles such as the high-speed Kh-31AD – was originally slated for deployment aboard the two French-built Mistral-class amphibious command ships originally destined for the Russian Navy.
However, delivery of the ships to Russia had subsequently been cancelled by France due to the former’s annexation of Crimea.
There are now plans to add the helicopters already constructed to the air wing of the Project 11435 Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. Posted on 08 August 2016 @janes.com
Kh-31AD anti-ship cruise missile
Kh-31AD airborne anti-ship guided missile is designed for hitting combat (assault landing) surface ships and cargo ships from the striking force (convoys) and single ships. This particular missile has a warhead power increased to 15% in compare with its prototype Kh-31A. Launch range is increased up to 120-160 km almost in two times.
Developer and manufacture:
Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC
|Maximum launch range|
|(carrier flight parameters: H=15 km, M=1.5 km), km||120 to 160|
|Launch altitrudes, km||0,1 to 15|
|Launch speeds (M number)||0,65 to 1,5|
|Aiming system||inertial + active radio homing head|
|Active radio homing head angle of sight in vertical plane, degree||+10 to -20|
|Active radio homing head angle of sight in horizontal plane, degree||up to +/-27|
|Missile start weight (maximum), kg||715|
|Weather conditions for use||any conditions at sea roughness|
|up to 4-5|
|Carriers||aircrafts Su-30MK (MKI, MKM, MK2),|
|Su-35, Mig-29K, Mig-29KUB, Mig-35|
|Average number of missile hits required to make enemy’s destroyer|
Kh-31AD missile specification @ktrv.ru
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.
Ka-52K Kaiman (NATO reporting name: Hokum-B) marinized attack-reconnaissance helicopter
The main difference in the naval variant from the basic Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter is the folding main rotor blades and folding half-wings. The new version will also be adapted for naval use by increased corrosion protection and an adjusted air conditioning system. Ka-52K will receive a special avionics suite to enable instrument landing on the ship’s deck. The crew life support system will be upgraded to allow the pilots to work in immersion suits. (aviationweek.com)
The latest Russian combat helicopter Ka-52K Katran, developed to be operated from Mistral helicopter carriers, is able to detect and identify targets at a distance 1,5 times longer compared to Ka-52 Alligator thanks to Okhotnik video image processing system, RIA Novosti reports with reference to Radio electronic Technologies Concern (KRET, part of Rostec State Corporation) First Deputy CEO, Igor Nasenkov.
“Okhotnik video image processing system allows detecting and identifying targets at a distance 1,2 – 1,5 times longer as well as increasing operating time of a TV-channel within 24 hours. Automatic tracking allows stabilizing association of video channels’ field of view with a desired area and reporting mismatch of a target against the line of sight in the form of error codes sent to the tele-orientation system,” Nasenkov said.
KRET manufactures a number of systems for Ka-52K helicopter. In particular, it is fitted with highly efficient Vitebsk electronic warfare suite, GOES-451 gyro-stabilized electro-optical station, Arbalet radar station, laser guidance system, and SAU-800 automatic control system.
Arbalet radar station
Arbalet-M, Arbalet 52
More capable version of Arbalet, using Baguet series processor. Designed for the Ka-52.
- Data processor: Ts181F
- Signal processor: Baget-55-04.01
- MTBF: 150 h
- Total weight: 140kg
- Various mapping modes
- Moving Target Selection of ground and air targets
- Determination of priority of objects
- Determination of terrain contours and obstacle detection during low-altitude flight
- Missile approach warning
- Support/cueing of EO targetting systems
- Detection of dangerous weather formations
- Navigation systems update/correction
- Missile and rocket control
- Target type classification (in conjunction with IFF)
- Azimuth coverage: 120°
- Mapping range: 32 km
- Range of detection of ground target: bridge: 25 km, tank: 12 km
- Measurement precision: azimuth: 12 min, elevation: 17 min, distance: 20 m
- Range of detection of ground-based obstacles and terrain detection/avoidance- Electricity cables: 0.4 km, 10° sloping terrain: 1.5 km
- Tracks 20 targets at once
- Search limits, azimuth: 360°, elevation ±30°
- Detection range for Attack aircraft: 15 km, Stinger missile: 5 km
- Tracking limits, azimuth: ±60°, elevation: ±30°
- Tracks up to 20 targets
«The SAU-800 automatic control system allows piloting the helicopter in manual, automated and automatic modes. The SAU-800 is integrated with the SIVPV-52 aerometric data recording and processing system allowing a pilot to focus on usage of weapons,» Nasenkov said.
He noted that thanks to KRET Ka-52K is able to “carry out missions under any weather and lighting conditions. This vehicle is able to do much more than just provide support to assault forces”.
The Ka-52K may get anti-ship weapons in the future, but it will initially carry the same weapons as the baseline variant. The standard weapons set includes one 30-mm 2A42 integrated automatic cannon, S-8 unguided rockets, Vikhr (AT-12) laser-guided or Ataka-V radio-guided antitank missiles or underwing Strelets launchers with Igla surface-to-air missiles. The new radar would enable the Ka- 52K to use Kh-31 (AS-17 Krypton) and Kh-35 (AS-20 Kayak) anti-ship missiles. (ato.ru)
“For example, thanks to the radar developed by KRET, this helicopter is able to detect enemy ships at a distance of 200 km and destroy them using X-31 and X-35 anti-ship missiles. This fact makes the helicopter closer to Su-33 and MiG-29K carrier-based fighters in terms of combat capabilities,” the source noted.
Radioelectronic Technologies Concern (KRET) is the Russia’s largest holding company in the radio electronics industry; it was established in 2009 and it is a part of Rostec State Corporation. Its major areas of activities are: development and production of avionics suites for civil and military aircraft, radars, friend-or-foe identification systems, EW suites, measuring equipment, electric connectors, cable assemblies, etc. (ruaviation.com)
Russia launches new engine production for military helicopters
Турбовальный двигатель ТВ7-117В (TV7-117V engine)
The new engines will be used on the military helicopters Ka-52 and Mi-28 as well as the newest Mi-38.
The United Engine Corporation has launched production of TV7-117V engines for the newest Mi-38 multi-purpose helicopter, as well as for the Ka-52 and Mi-28 attack helicopters. Previously, these rotorcrafts used engines made by Ukraine’s Motor Sich plant.
The decision to design and produce Russia’s own technology was made after the introduction of U.S. and EU sanctions and the complete rupture of military and technical cooperation between Russia and Ukraine in 2014. The original plan was to equip the latest Mi-38s with engines made by U.S. aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney for supplies to Russia’s European and American partners. Source @rbth.com
Two versions of the engine are produced:
- with the power shaft in front – the TV7-117V/VM model for the Mi-38 helicopter and its versions;
- with the power shaft in the rear – the TV7-117VK model for upgrading Mi-28 and Ka50/Ka52 helicopters.
- To be installed on Mi-38 helicopters
- Certification expected in 2009
- Power class: 2500 – 3000 hp
Principal specifications of the TV7-117V:
|Emergency performance (Н=0, V=0):|
|emergency power sustained for 30 seconds (ISA+5°С), hp||3750||—|
|emergency power sustained for 2-5 minutes (ISA+15°С), hp||3500||—|
|emergency power sustained for 30 minutes (ISA+20°С), hp||3000||2800|
|Takeoff performance (Н=0, V=0):|
|power (ISA+20°С), hp||2800||2500|
|specific fuel consumption, g/hp/hr||199||201|
|Cruising performance (Н=0, V=0):|
|power (ISA+20°С), hp||2000||1800|
|specific fuel consumption, g/hp/hr||220||230|
- Egyptian Air Force – 50 Ka-52s on order
- Kenya Army – 4 Ka-50s evaluatated
Source: Air Force Technology, Wiki, russianhelicopters.aero, motorold.com
Updated Aug 15, 2016
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