Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Russian attack helicopter goes to sea

Here's an interesting look at Russia's Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter.  It's been adapted for service aboard ships, including the two Mistral class assault vessels that were to have been purchased from France.  (Both ships have now been sold to Egypt, which will reportedly buy Ka-52's for use aboard them.)

The US AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper were both designed as land-based aircraft, although both have been adapted to shipboard use (particularly the latter, which serves aboard US Navy landing ships that carry US Marines).  It's interesting to see a Russian attack helicopter in a shipboard environment as well.  I wonder if it'll be adapted to the anti-submarine warfare role as well, or remain a 'pure' attack helicopter?  The USA and Britain have chosen to go a different route, using specialized ASW helicopters.



Old NFO said...

They will work for near shore ops... But not much else!

Anonymous said...

Twin, co-axial, countra-rotational main rotors bespeaks a substantial level of mechanical complication - especially in view of the fact that attack 'copters, even the relatively-mechanically-simple Blackhawk and Apache (both, of course, U.S.-made and flown), are already quite complex and maintenance-intensive aircraft...

Plus, the Russian aircraft (almost without exception) tend strongly towards somewhat-underpowered (for their size/weight) and over-armored (with rather heavy armor systems) - which makes for even more maintenance intensification, and "sensitivity" to any lack of same.

Add in the likelihood that the "multi-role" Russian choppers will be toting around a lot more all-up weight at any one time - that tends to make them "targets of opportunity" for the opposition...whether in the air or on the ground...Interesting...

Tim Newman said...


I can assure you, any Russian helicopter will require much less maintenance, carried out at a much lower cost, than its western counterpart. Russians have been using the counter-rotating blade system for decades, they are good mechanical engineers.

Not that I think their helicopters can compete with the Western ones, but sensitive to maintenance they are not - nor is anything Russian-built.

Joe Katzman said...

Kamov's Ka-28 already handles ASW, so don't expect any repurposing of the -52. No point.

On land, the Ka-52s have been used in the scout/attack role, whereas the Mi-24 and Mi-28 are more traditional heavy attack helicopters.

While the USA traditionally has different Navy/Army attack helos (AH-1Z vs. AH-64D/E), Russia's Navy has never really had that assault role. It will be interesting to see what they do with the new toys, and how that fits into their evolution. If anything - the Ka-52 could be on the block for cuts in the wake of a contracting economy.

NOTE: The Vietnam-era AH-1 Cobra was designed for the army, but the AH-1 became a naval-centric design long before the recent AH-1Z model. Among the sacrifices made for that role is rather less protection, which has helped to undermine Cobra export sales and made AH-64s the USA's overwhelming attack helo export.