Kamov Ka-52 Alligator, Russian Multi-Role Combat Helicopter that Can Operate in All Terrain and Weather

Kamov Ka-52 Alligator, Russian Multi-Role Combat Helicopter that Can Operate in All Terrain and Weather
Kamov Ka-52 Alligator Russian

International Military - Kamov Ka 52 Alligator is a multi-role attack helicopter that can operate in any weather conditions. The Ka-52 is a two-seater version of the Russian military's Ka-50 attack helicopter. This helicopter is capable of operating day and night.

The development began in 1994 and flights were carried out in 1997. Russia ordered the Ka-52 in 2008 and the helicopter was produced in limited units. Quoted from Hot Cars, until 2012, only 30 helicopters were delivered to the Russian armed forces. It was only in 2017, 90 of them were operational. In 2017, the naval version of the Alligator was exported to Egypt.

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Algeria also purchased helicopters, and first deliveries began in 2019. As for design, the Ka-52 differs from the Ka-50 due to its long nose and side-by-side two-seat cockpit. This helicopter can be used as a training aircraft, as both pilots can control the Kamov.

The special type of layout makes helicopter control simpler during combat. The Alligator is equipped with a TV3-117VMA turbo engine. The helicopter also has two counter-rotating coaxial rotors which provide exceptional maneuverability. The Ka-52 is claimed to be one of the most agile helicopters on the planet.

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The armor of the Russian helicopter protects it from ammunition up to 23 mm. Another interesting fact about the attack helicopter is that it will be able to fly with only one active engine. The Ka-52 has a battlefield management system.

This gives it characteristics that allow the aircraft to share data with other aircraft and third sources. The Alligator can operate as an air control center for the aircraft team. In this role, it provides the air fleet with data on targets and therefore can coordinate strike operations.

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For armament, the helicopter has a 30 mm cannon and there are 6 external hard points for different types of weapons. Some of the options available are Vikhr and Vikhr-M anti-tank missiles, Igla-V air-to-air missiles, bombs, and more. In addition, there is a naval version of the Ka-52, the Ka-52K Katran.

This version was developed for one particular reason: the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship that Russia wanted to buy from France. One Ka-52K prototype was commissioned and built for testing in 2014 and made its maiden flight in 2015.

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The aircraft can carry Kh-31 and Kh-35 anti-ship missiles. However, the main difference is that the helicopter has a system that folds up its rotors for better placement of the naval vessels. Of course, many other changes were made so that the aircraft can operate effectively over the sea.

Although it looks dangerous, it was recently reported that the Russian Ka-52 Alligator is experiencing serious structural deficiencies. This is because it is exposed to significant levels of vibratory load originating from the coaxial rotor system. This happened when helicopters were deployed on the battlefield with Ukraine.

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Reporting from Defense-blog.com, it is known, under intensive operating conditions, the Ka-52 coaxial rotor system with stub wings creates high vibrations. The experience of real operations in war conditions in Ukraine confirms that the Ka-52 helicopter is susceptible to excessive vibration. It is this vibration that causes mechanical failure and fatigue.

The Russian combat helicopters also lost their landing gear fairings and had cracks in the wings where the main armament was suspended. Severe vibrations can also affect avionics and navigation equipment.

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In addition, one important issue is the decrease in instrument readout, which is the result of complex human-machine interactions. The Ukrainian military has shot down several Russian attack helicopters from a portable anti-tank missile system at a time when the crew experienced excessive vibration and were unable to track the situation around.

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