ka-52 alligator

The 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 first Ka-52 helicopter was rolled out in December 1996. The helicopter completed its first flight in June 1997.” So what is the ka 52 alligator price? Check the ka 52 alligator vs apache review below.

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.

Kamov Ka-52 Alligator: A next-generation combat helicopter

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.

Russia plans to equip its proposed Mistral Class amphibious assault ships with Ka-52K helicopters. Ka-52K is a naval variant of the Ka-52 Alligator.

Ka-52 Alligator

ka 52 alligator price

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 Ka-52 will replace the Ka-50 Black Shark fleet that is in service with the Russian Air Force.”

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.

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).

In September 2012 Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, signed a long-term contract with Ramenskoye Design Company (RDC) for deliveries of avionics equipment. As part of the contract, RDC is responsible for the supply of avionics packages for Ka-52 attack helicopter and Ka-52K advanced ship-based variant between 2013 and 2020.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Engines and performance of Russia’s Ka-52

The Ka-52 Alligator is powered by two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines driving two coaxial contra-rotating main rotors. Each engine produces a maximum take-off power of 2,400hp. The engines are equipped with a new full authority digital control system (FADEC).

The Ka-52 helicopter can fly at a maximum altitude of 5,500m. The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 300km/h and 260km/h respectively. The helicopter can climb at a rate of 12m/s. The Ka-52 has a practical flight range of 460km, while its ferry flight range is 1,110km.

ka 52 alligator vs apache

The Ka-52 Alligator is an attack helicopter. It’s not the first or the most heavily armed or the fastest attack helicopter. It’s not even Russia’s biggest attack helicopter. So why is it so often ranked number 1 in the world? It’s a balance of speed, armament, and an absolutely stunning range.

Best attack helicopter in the world? America built the first dedicated attack helicopter, the AH-1, and variants of it are still flying. So maybe that one? Or perhaps the MH-47s from Vietnam, highly modified cargo helicopters loaded with guns? Or America’s premiere, the AH-64 Apache, which can be equipped with air-to-air missiles? They’re all great, but there’s a surprisingly strong case for Russia’s Ka-52.

The navalized Ka-52K has folding rotor blades and can carry an anti-ship missile capable of taking out tanker ships.(Anna Zvereva, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Ka-52, in a nutshell, is an attack helicopter with a top speed of 196 mph, an 18,000-foot ceiling, and a 683-mile range. It can carry a few kinds of anti-tank missiles, an anti-aircraft missile, 80mm unguided rockets, and a 30mm main gun. It can also carry a dedicated anti-ship missile, the Kh-35 in its Uran configuration.

And a few of those stats make the Ka-52 seem way better than the Apache or other attack helicopters on paper. For one, the Ka-52’s anti-tank missiles can penetrate slightly deeper than the Apache’s Hellfire missile. Missiles are generally measured these days by how much armor they can pierce after getting past the explosive armor on an enemy tank.

The Hellfire can pierce a reported 800mm of armor by that measurement. But the Ka-52’s ATAKA can tear through 950mm, and the Vikhr can pierce 1,000mm of armor. But the Ka-52’s engines and wing mounts are limited, and so it can carry only 12 missiles against the Apache’s 16.

But the Hellfire’s penetration is still enough to pierce most any tank the Army is going to fly against, and its almost 5-mile range is much better than the ATAKA can do, but admittedly a little shorter than Vikhr which can fly almost 7.5 miles, reportedly.

An armament diagram shows the weapons the Ka-52 can carry. Those last two diagrams under the center hardpoints of each wing are the missile racks. The helicopter can carry up to six anti-tank missiles from each of the two center hardpoints for a total of 12.(KPoJluK2008, CC BY-SA 3.0)

So the anti-tank situation is basically a wash. Ka-52 has the edge if you need to penetrate some seriously hardened structures like good bunkers or kill stuff from further away, but the Apache can kill 33 percent more stuff with its missile armament than the Ka-52 can.

The Ka-52 does have one clear missile advantage in that it can carry a dedicated anti-ship missile, the KH-35. The Hellfire and its 16-pound warhead can be pressed into anti-ship service, but the Kh-35 has a much larger warhead at 320 pounds and an obscenely longer range at 80 miles. Basically, the Hellfire can take out small craft at short ranges, but a Kh-35 launched from Richmond, Virginia, can take out a tanker floating in Norfolk’s harbor.

Another small point in the Ka-52’s favor is that its rockets are a bit larger at 80mm instead of 70mm.

So you can give an armament edge to the Ka-52, and it is slightly faster at 186 mph instead of 173. But the Apache can fly 1,180 miles in straight and level flight against a mere 683 for the Ka-52. And it can fly higher, reaching 21,000 feet while the Ka-52 runs out of air at just over 18,000 feet.

And that 3,000-foot change can make a big difference in places like Afghanistan, but it also means that Apaches could protect American soldiers on Russia’s Mount Elbrus while the Ka-52 flitted uselessly well below.

So, yeah, the Ka-52 is a great helicopter. It can carry a wide range of weapons, it’s fast, and it has a decent range and flight ceiling. And if you ever have to fly against it or fight under it, watch out. Especially if you’re on a boat within 80 miles. It’s easy to see why the Ka-52 takes the top spot in a lot of lists.

But in most missions most of the time, the Apache is better. Oh, and the newest Apaches can bring drone sidekicks to the fight, something Russia’s bird can’t do. So expect it to climb to most people’s top spots over the next few years.

And that’s without addressing the potential for an armed version of the SB-1 Defiant or V-280 Valor emerging from the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Program. If either of those gets armed in the coming decades, expect them to carry more weight, fly at higher altitudes, and faster speeds than any other attack helicopter in the world, with a flight range that’s equal to or better than what’s out there now.

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