Rostec eyes South Korean Ka-32 revamp

The Rostec State Corporation has announced its intention to offer South Korea a modernisation package for its fleet of Kamov Ka-32 coaxial rotor helicopters at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2019 (ADEX) 2019.

The Russian state-owned company is proposing to equip the Ka-32 with a glass cockpit and a new firefighting system, along with installing the more powerful Klimov VK-2500PS-02 engines, replacing the older TV3-117s. This upgrade programme would bring South Korean versions in line with the most modern variant, the Ka-32A11M. 

The Ka-32A11M's avionics have been tested and evaluated on other Russian-made civil multi-role helicopters, such as the Mil Mi-38 and Kamov Ka-62. The company also boasts that its SP-32 water tank can carry up to four tonnes of water and can be controlled digitally, with improved water intake and discharge ergonomics, and the ability to operate in sub-zero temperatures.

Rostec State Corporation

Andrey Boginsky, director general of Russian Helicopters holding company, said: "There is a good reason why the upgraded Ka-32 helicopter has been selected for our joint exposition: the fleet of these rotorcraft in Korea is fairly large, and they have proved their efficiency in terms of transporting cargo, search and rescue operations and firefighting."

South Korea's Ka-32 fleets are commonplace in the country, operated as search and rescue (SAR) helicopters and aerial firefighters by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), Republic of Korea Coast Guard and the Korea Forest Service. They are also used commercially as 'flying cranes’, assisting in construction and other installation tasks.

The official proposal will be made at the Seoul ADEX 2019, which starts on October 15 and continues for five days. The company will also be showcasing the Kamov Ka-226T and Kazan Ansat light multi-role helicopters at the event.