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Russian Ka-52 Scout-Attack Helicopter (Alligator)
- Published on Oct 8, 2015
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The Kamov Ka-50 "Black Shark"; Chornaya Akula Black Shark, NATO reporting name: Hokum A) is a single-seat Russian attack helicopter with the distinctive coaxial rotor system of the Kamov design bureau. It was designed in the 1980s and adopted for service in the Russian army in 1995. It is currently manufactured by the Progress company in Arsenyev. It is being used as a heavily armed scout helicopter.
During the late 1990s, Kamov and Israel Aerospace Industries developed a tandem-seat cockpit version, the Kamov Ka-50-2 "Erdogan", to compete in Turkey's attack helicopter competition. Kamov also designed another two-seat variant, the Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator", NATO reporting name: Hokum B).
Ka-50 and the two-seat version Ka-52, are high-performance combat helicopters with day and night capability, high survivability and fire power, to defeat air targets and heavily armoured tanks armed with air defence weapons. It was designed to be small, fast and agile to improve survivability and lethality.
The coaxial rotor design provides a hovering ceiling of 4,000 m and vertical rate of climb of 10 m a second at an altitude of 2,500 m. 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 load factor of 3.5 g combined with low moments of inertia give the Ka-50 a high level of agility. Flight systems include inertial navigation system (INS), autopilot and head-up display (HUD). Sensors include forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and terrain-following radar.
The Kamov Ka-50 is also fitted with an electronic radio and sighting-piloting-navigating system allowing flights at day and night in VFR and IFR weather conditions. The novelty of this avionics is based on the system of precise target designation with digital coded communication system, which ensures the exchange of information (precise enemy coordinates) between helicopters flying far apart from each other and ground command posts as well. Ka-52 is also equipped with a "Phazotron" cabin desk radio-locator allowing flights in adverse meteorological conditions and at night. The necessary information acquired by this radio-locator is transferred to cabin desk’s multi-functional display screen. For conducting a fight, both pilots are equipped with range-finders built-in their helmets and they can use nocto-visual eyepieces for night flights.
For its own protection, Black Shark is fitted with a radar warning receiver, electronic warfare system and chaff and flare dispenser.The Alligator is equipped with rejecters of heat and radar misleading targets. The rejecters are placed in aerodynamic containers fitted at wings’ ends. Each casing (container) contains two rejecters for 32 misleading 26 mm calibre targets each. The whole system works on principle of evaluated response based on infrared or electronic impulse irradiation.]
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.
A high degree of the Kamov Ka-50 survivability is ensured by:
the pilot’s cockpit fitted with steel plates that can withstand lateral hit of 20 mm projectiles in addition to armored glass 55 mm thick
protection of fuel tanks, controls, drive system, auxiliary power unit (APU). hydraulic and other systems
the rotor blades made from super-strong plastic allowing to continue flight despite several direct hits
the coaxial main rotor configuration without tail rotor and its control systems and gear box radically increasing the helicopter survivability because when they are hit, a crash is inevitable
composite materials, amount to 35 per cent of the helicopter's load-carrying structure.
The aircraft has one 2A42 30-mm gun. This automatic cannon is mounted near the centre of fuselage and carries 460 high-fragmentation, explosive incendiary, or armour-piercing rounds. The type of ammunition is also selected by the pilot in the flight.
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