Russia orders first batch of modernised Ka-52Ms

Russian Helicopters has been contracted to supply the first batch of upgraded serial production Kamov Ka-52M ‘Alligator’ attack helicopters to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD), with deliveries expected to begin in 2022.

The company – which is a subsidiary of the Rostec State Corporation – announced that a contract between the two parties had been signed at Russia’s ARMY-2021 International Military-Technical Forum on August 24. Deliveries of the modernised Ka-52Ms to the Russian MOD will begin after the upgraded type passes state joint tests, which began earlier this month. The number of aircraft involved in this initial contract was not disclosed.

Kamov Ka-52M [Russian Helicopters]
Deliveries of the first modernised Kamov Ka-52M 'Alligator' attack helicopters to the Russian MOD are expected to begin in 2022. Russian Helicopters

Andrey Boginsky, the General Director of Russian Helicopters, said: “The Ka-52 is one of the best attack rotorcraft in the world, but even the best technology needs timely modernisation – it will expand the combat capabilities of the helicopter. When developing the updated version, our designers relied on [the] experience [of operating] the ‘Alligator’, including in a real combat situation.

“Therefore, in the improved attack helicopter, everything is aimed at increasing the combat efficient in any weather conditions. In agreement with the Russian [MOD], preparations for the production of serial vehicles have already started at the AAK Progress enterprise in Primorye,” he added.

Russian Helicopters states that, as part of this upgrade, the Ka-52M received a modernised avionics suite, complete with computing facilities that have an increased performance over previous variants of the type. “With its help, the possibilities of using weapons are expanded, including at night. The range of detection and recognition of targets at night has doubled,” it added.

Additionally, the company has installed and tested advanced missiles with the Ka-52M, which has also been adapted to work in conjunction with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – suggesting the type will boast a manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability. “The data received from the drones will help to increase the situational awareness of the crew on the battlefield and will help to qualitatively improve the collection of intelligence at a greater distance,” the firm says.

The company is also working to improve the attack helicopter’s efficiency through the installation of a radar station, equipped with an active phased antenna array radar system. The Ka-52M will also feature an increased combat range and will be fitted with an upgraded airborne load control system.