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The Kamov Ka-50 "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.

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).

In the early 1980s, while the comparative tests of the V-80 (Ka-50 prototype) and the Mi-28 were still ongoing, the Kamov design team came up with a proposal to develop a dedicated helicopter to conduct battlefield reconnaissance, provide target designation and support group attack helicopter operations. However, the economic hardships that hit the nation in the late 1980s hampered the development program of the new type. This prompted Kamov's Designer General to choose a modified version of Ka-50 on which to install the recce and target designation system. The modified "Hokum" required a second crew member to operate the optronics/radar recce suite. Kamov decided to use side-by-side seating arrangement, due to the verified improvements in co-operation between the crew members. This twin-seat version of the "Hokum" received a designation of Ka-52. Manufacturing of the first Ka-52 airframe began in mid-1996. Serial production was started in autumn 2008.

The Ka-52 is another modification of the basic Ka-50 design. It features a two-seat side-by-side cockpit, and is designed to detect targets and redistribute them among supporting Ka-50s and Mi-28s. In comparison to the original Ka-50, it has a somewhat "softer" nose profile due to the wider cockpit, reduced cockpit armor and large nose-mounted radome. Equipment includes radar with two antennas—mast-mounted for aerial targets and nose-mounted for ground targets, and "Samshite" day-and-night TV/thermal sighting system in two spherical turrets (one over the cockpit and the second under the nose). The Ka-52 retains the side-mounted cannon and six wing-mounted hardpoints of the original Ka-50.

The Ka-52 has completed the state trials. The fourth operationally configured helicopter was taken on strength by the Russian Air Force on 10 February 2011. Under the current State Defense Procurement Plan, Russian Armed Forces will receive 30 helicopters by 2012. A second batch of 36 helicopters will be inducted to service in early 2012.

The 696th Instructor and Research Helicopter Regiment is operating eight helicopters, in varying degrees of capability and/or modification, for the purpose of ongoing research and development. In December 2010, four new production Kamov Ka-52 were delivered to the Regiment. Mistral class amphibious assault ships, ordered by the Russian Defense Ministry, will be armed with Ka-52 helicopters.

General characteristics

Crew: two

Length: 16.0 m (52 ft 6 in)

Rotor diameter: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)

Height: 4.93 m (16 ft 2 in)

Disc area: 330.3 m² (3,555 ft²)

Empty weight: 7,700 kg (17,000 lb)

Loaded weight: 10,400 kg (22,930 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 10,800 kg (23,810 lb)

Powerplant: 2 × Klimov TV3-117VK turboshafts, 1,641 kW (2,200 shp) each


Never exceed speed: 350 km/h (189 knots, 217 mph) in dive

Maximum speed: 315 km/h (170 knots, 196 mph) in level flight

Cruise speed: 270 km/h (146 knots, 168 mph)

Range: 545 km (339 miles)

Ferry range: 1,160 km (720 mi) with 4 drop tanks

Service ceiling: 5,500 m (18,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 10 m/s (32.8 ft/s)

Disc loading: 30 kg/m² (6 lb/ft²)

Power/mass: 0.33 kW/kg (0.20 hp/lb)


1x mobile semi-rigid 30 mm Shipunov 2A42 cannon (460 rounds total, dual feeding AP or HE-Frag)

A variety of payloads on the four under-wing hardpoints, including 23 mm UPK-23-250 gun pods (240 rounds each), 2 x APU-6 Missle racks, able to accommodate a total of 12 9K121 Vikhr anti-tank missiles, Vympel R-73 (NATO: AA-11 Archer) air-to-air missiles, 80 x 80 mm S-8 rockets and 20 x 122 mm S-13 rocket, Kh-25 semi-active laser guided tactical air-to-ground missiles, presumably S-25/S-25L high caliber rockets, 4x 250 kg (550 lb) bombs or 2x 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs, 500 L (130 US gal) external fuel tanks. Reportedly, twin Igla light air-to-air missile launchers under each wingtip countermeasure pod (total 4 missiles). Maximum total payload 2,000 kg.

Two pods on the wingtips with flare and chaff countermeasure dispensers, 4 UV-26 dispensers each (total 512 chaff/flare cartridges in each pod)

Other model helicopters:Ka-58, RAH-66 Comanche, UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, Ka-52 Alligator, PAH-2 Eurocopter, Ka-50 Black Shark, AH-1W Super Cobra, Mi-24 Hint, Mi-8 Hip, AS-332 Super Puma, UH-1 Iroqoies, MD-500