Intro to Alligator
The Kamov Ka-52 Alligator is Russian attack helicopter. In the 1996, Russian airforce show the first prototype of Kamov Ka-52 Alligator in AERO INDIA. When the army concept was being set, the projected two-seat helicopter was only designed for the performance of training tasks. The course of the development and originality of the initial technological idea confirmed the necessity to develop the project for several more versions. At the present time, night combat, combat reconnaissance, and training/instructional modifications appear to be the proper modifications.
Ka-52 Design and Construction
The Kamov Ka-52 design and construction is based on the original Kamov Ka-50 helicopter concept with no significant subsequent modifications. An essential change, in comparison with the single-seat version, has been made in the extension of its fuselage, at its front part, due to installation of the second ejection seat. The unification of the construction components and groups of the two-seater with the single-seater’s version are said to account for more than 75 %.
The crew placement – one pilot alongside to the another, is expected to bring a better co-ordination of the both pilots’ actions under various flight and fight regimes, as well as a less sophisticated equipment with controlling instruments which allows to avoid their doubling, as required for cockpits with two-men crew seated stepped up behind one another. The both crew members are seating on identical K-37-800 ejection seats. Analogously to Kamov Ka-50, the seats are simultaneously activated by the same automatic emergency rescue system which, using pyro-cartridges, will jet-off the main rotor blades as the first step and only then will activate the seat mechanism.
Ka-52 Alligator Armament and Equipment
Despite the fact that the weight of the Ka-52 cabin’s armouring as well as the number of ammunition carried for the 2A42 board gun were reduced, the take-off weight of the helicopter increased by 600 kg, i. e. to 10,400 kg. Flight parameters, however, are more inferior. Climbing ability of the helicopter is lower – 8 m/s (10 m/s for its single-seat modification), allowable overload factor is only +3.0 g, in comparison with +3.5 g for Ka-50 version. Hovering ceiling was also reduced from 4,000 m to 3,600 m. Maximum speed (310 km/h) and operational range of 460 km remained unchanged.
The previous experience has confirmed that, despite a significant automation, especially of the reconnaissance/fire system, integration of piloting and target destruction, is to demanding for a single pilot. Division of the tasks between two crew-members is an optimum solution, having positive effects particularly in stress situations. In the case of a two-member crew, the second crew-man will either control and carry on the fire or perform reconnaissance and target sighting tasks. This applies to individual flight as well as to the whole group, in the event of a co-ordination involving the Ka-50s single-seaters.
The Kamov Ka-52 design and construction have also resolved the pilot training problem. The helicopter is equipped with a FAZOTRON cabin desk radio-locator allowing flies 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, 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 26mm calibre targets each. The whole system works on principle of evaluated response based on infrared or electronic impulse irradiation.
The helicopter’s armament includes automatic, 30mm calibre gun 2A42. The podded armament of the Ka-52 helicopter can be identical to the armament carried by single-seat machines. In order to improve the Alligator’s combat performance, additional types of ammunition have been developed and/or added. The standard set of the podded armament includes 2×6 VIKHR anti-tank guided missiles and 2 x B-8V-20 blocks of unguided S-8 rockets of 80mm calibre. The fire range of the VIKHR antitank guided missiles is 8 -10 km. However, their advanced version – VIKHR-M – is being prepared. This is said to be effective when firing at light-armoured ground targets remote 12 to 15 km. Depending on the given combat mission, future armament of the Kamov Ka-52s can also include anti-aircraft guided missiles IGLA-V with infrared guiding system or R-73 anti-aircraft guided missiles. Thanks to the desk’s radar and laser system, the helicopter can also be armed with Ch-25ML short-range anti-ground guided missiles.
Ka-52 and Ka-50 Export?
For export reasons, both the Kamov Ka-50 and Kamov Ka-52 versions can certainly be equipped with foreign components as well. To feature as an example can be the Ka-52 exhibited in India. That was equipped with a rotary sensor for thermo-visual rangefinder fitted under its nose, a night mission device produced by the French company Thomson-CSF. This is not the first co-operation of this kind. As early as 1995, a French container SATURN, designed for analogous purposes, appeared under Ka-50’s left wings.
The Kamov Ka-50 and Ka-52 combat helicopters are, no doubt, helicopters of a very high performance, turning ability and firing power assured by an enormous arsenal of their weaponry. Their single-seat version has no real competitor in the world.