Kamov Ka-50 Black Shark (Hokum) Attack Helicopter
The single-seat Russian Kamov Ka-50 Hokum attack helicopter family features the Kamov-trademark counter-rotating blades which are used to cancel torque.
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The Kamov Ka-50 Chernaya Akula (or "Black Shark" and Codenamed "Hokum" by NATO) series of attack helicopter was developed in the latter years of the Cold War and did not enter operational service with Russian military forces until 1995. It features many interesting and unique design elements for a weapon of this classification and - at least on paper - would seem to give all other modern attack helicopters and ground armor units a run for their money thanks to the inherent capabilities in the distinct design. The need for a new Russian attack helicopter was developed after hard-earned lessons in the Soviet-Afghanistan Conflict
Development of the Ka-50 began in 1977, producing the V-80 prototype. The V-80 went airborne on July 27th, 1982 and evolved to become the V-80Sh-1 pre-production model. The Ka-50 squared off against the Mil Mi-28 "Havoc" - a conventional two-seat attack helicopter in competitive trials and was selected ahead of the Mil product in 1986. Funding delayed production for a time and renewed trials in 1994 did the Ka-50 project no better - 2000 saw the Mi-28 also selected for service. The Ka-50 became operational in 1995 and was produced through approximately 32 examples. Comparatively, the Mi-28 was introduced into service in 1996 and initially saw limited production for the Russian Air Force while Kenya entered the fray as an export customer (the Iraqi Air Force may become its next foreign operator of note).