The Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator" (Hokum-B) is an upgraded form of the original Ka-50 "Hokum" attack helicopter line. While the Ka-50 utilized a single-seat cockpit, the most notable difference in the new mark is the twin-seat, side-by-side cockpit. Development of this attack helicopter began in 1994 leading to a first flight recorded on June 25th, 1997. While the Ka-52 includes a radar suite, additional crewmember, and all-new designation it more or less retains the same form and function as well as armament capabilities of the original. Additionally, the platform supports all-weather, day/night attack environments due to its various upgrades that include FLIR, TV sighting, helmet-mounted sighting, laser rangefinder, and mast-mounted radar antenna.
The Ka-52 is billed as an armed reconnaissance and combat platform able to take on the roles of assault, Close-Air Support (CAS), convoy protection, and armed patrolling. The helicopter maintains its weaponry under its short wingstub assemblies which allow for four underwing hardpoints. Onboard countermeasures, including signature reduction features, chaff/flare dispensers, and crew/critical systems armoring enhances battlefield survivability. Each pilot is also afforded K-37-800M shock-absorbing ejection seats. The twin-seat arrangement sports control redundancy meaning either pilot can manage the flight control aspects of the helicopter. The avionics suite is all-modern (complete with a high level of automation for reduced crew workloads) and the weapons suite flexible to support a broad range of weaponry. Attention has also been given to reduced maintenance and repair times by providing for better accessibility of key systems and components.
The Alligator features the Kamov helicopter trademark coaxial main rotors arrangement (2 x three-bladed systems) which eliminate the need for a countering tail rotor unit (this also increased battlefield survivability to an extent). These main rotors are driven by 2 x Klimov VK-2500 series turboshaft engines which support "hot-and-high" operations as well as cold weather service. Performance includes a maximum speed of 300 kmh with a cruising speed nearing 260 kmh. Ferry range is 1,100 kilometers with a combat radius of about 460 kilometers. Its operational service ceiling reaches 5,500 meters.
The Ka-52 carries a 30mm 2A42-1 cannon along the starboard side of its fuselage. There is limited traversal given which requires the pilots to position the entire aircraft in the direction of fire but overall accuracy is said to be better than that of a turreted chin gun seen in other modern attack helicopters. Beyond this standard installation, the wingstubs of the helicopter support Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), rockets, rocket pods, gun pods, and cannon pods as required.
To date, the Ka-52 has only been adopted by the Russian Air Force with possible plans to feature it in the Russian Navy as well dependent upon successful procurement of a new amphibious warship / helicopter carrier. The Air Force is planning on a Ka-52 stock of 140 helicopters with the Navy adding a possible 40 more units.
April 2017 - Testing is ongoing on a maritime version of the Ka-52 attack helicopter. This version is designated as Ka-52K and has received various modifications for its intended over-water role including corrosion-resistant materials, unique rescue systems and comm suite, and crewspace ejection system. The type is intended to be operated from warships.
August 2020 - The Ka-52M, a modernized form of the Ka-52 attack helicopter series, achieved first-flight in an August 10th, 2020 exercise at Arseniev.
July 2021 - An all-modern production version of the Ka-52M was showcased at MAKS 2021.
August 2021 - Russian Helicopters have been given the green light to upgrade the Russian Ka-52 fleet with modern avionics and sensors (the aforementioned Ka-52M).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
52.5 ft (16.00 m)
47.6 ft (14.50 m)
16.2 ft (4.93 m)
16,976 lb (7,700 kg)
23,810 lb (10,800 kg)
+6,834 lb (+3,100 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum-B) production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum-B) production variant)
2 x Klimov VK-2500 OR VK-2500P turboshaft engines developing 2,500 shaft horsepower each while driving 2 x three-bladed main rotors.
16 x Air-to-Surface anti-tank missiles OR 6 x Rocket Pods / Cannon Pods across six underwing hardpoints.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 6
Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).
Ka-52 "Alligator" - Base Series Designation
Ka-52K - Maritime attack model for shipborne operations; folding main rotor head; reinforced undercarriage; anti-corrosion coating; maritime ordnance support.
Ka-52M - Modernized variant; first-flight in August 2020.
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Firepower Index (BETA)
Inherent combat value taking into account weapons support / versatility, available hardpoints, and total carrying capability.
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