Ka-52 by Kamov KB (chief designer Sergey Mikheev)

General Information
Type Ka-52
Function Strike leader
Year 1997
Crew 2
Powerplant (2)
Type TV3-117VMA
Power at m 2200hp
Length (ignoring rotors) 13.53m
Length (with rotors) 15.9m
Wing span 7.34m
Height 4.95m
Rotor Diameter 14.4m
Rotor area 330.3m2
Weights and loads
Empty 8550kg
Normal 10400kg
Maximum 12500kg
Rotor load 37.8kg/m2
Power load 2.84kg/hp
Shallow dive 350km/h
Level 310km/h
Cruise 270km/h
Backwards 90km/h
Sidewards 70km/h
Turn time sec
g-load +3.0
Combat (internal tanks) 520km
Ferry (external tanks?) 1200km
Flight Endurance (normal) 3h (1h40min?)
Ferry Endurance (external fuel) 4h
Static 3600m
Dynamic 5500m
at 0m 8m/sec
Internal Fuel ?kg
External Fuel ?kg
Gun Type 2A42 30mm
Position Starboard side
Ammo Selective (HE or AP)
280 to 520(26 bursts)
Hardpoints 6 (see table)
Maximum load 1810 to 2000kg
(60k) First prototype of the Ka-52, courtesy of Roy Cochrun

14 years of Ka-50 trials and service proved that even with very advanced flight and weapons control systems, single-seat solution of strike helicopter puts too much stress on the pilot. In 1994 Kamov OKB found a solution - 'intellectual support' helicopter destined to lead the Ka-50 as well as perform solo missions. Its role is shifted from strike towards reconnaissance, target designation and distribution, communications with a ground command, combat support of single seaters. Additional role is pilot training (dual controls).

(52k) Controls and instruments of the Ka-52 (another view here), from Watson's Military collection

Ka-52 Alligator - modification for Ka-50 'Hokum' with nose redesigned for crew of 2, sitting side-by-side. Uncommon for assault helicopter sitting was chosen as a result of service comparison between Mi-24 and Ka-29 two-seaters. Side-by-side solution turned out to be better for crew cooperation. Dual flight controls and avionics for two pilots also easier to arrange in this case.

Eyes of Ka-52
(photos by Simon Watson)
'Arbalet' mast-mount radar
'Samshit-E' optoelectronics ball
'Optical sighting sensor'
'Rotor' day/night targeting system

Second crew member accommodation and the availability of new multifunctional equipment system led to an increase in the weight of the empty helicopter (by some 600kg) and a certain deterioration in flight performance, compared to the Ka-50. However, it did not affect the integrated quality of this flying machine as a whole.

It has 75 to 85% unified modules from Ka-50 "Black Shark". Despite 36% of the airframe are composites, design solutions allow use only conventional aircraft technology for mass production.

The Alligator retained all combat capabilities of its predecessor, including the whole array of weaponry.

Multiplex multi-level high-speed computer system allows crew to use variety of active/passive sensors/sighting and weapons system on various levels of automatization and crew involvement, depending on the mission goals and combat situation. Navigation and combat may be performed day or night, under any weather and season conditions. Information about targets may be transmitted to other helicopters of the strike group via scrambled digital channels.

Kamov incorporating some of the advanced auto-hover systems developed for its naval helicopters to reduce pilot workload.

SensorsCockpit equipment
  • Day/Night "Shkval-V" universal sight.
  • Optics locator "Samshit-E".
  • Termovision station.
  • Telescopic/laser collimated tracking system (up to 15km).
  • Top-mounted "Arbalet" radar.
  • Four color multifunction LCD displays.
  • Front window pilot's display.
  • Helmet mounted seeker/tracker for operator (and pilot?).
  • Doubled flight controls with full functionality on both channels.
  • The Sextant Avionic of France and Thomson company take part in creation of this helicopter.

    Crew occupies Zvezda K-37 ejection seats, and rotor blades are jettissoned automatically once the ejection sequence is initiated.. Cockpit is armored (110mm titanium bath?) to endure hits of 23mm bullets. Survivability is increased through the heat suppressors around the engines to reduce infrared signature.

    Ka-52 carries more stealth technology elements than its predecessors. In addition to radar-absorbing paint, engine exhausts are specially designed to minimize IR signature of aircraft.

    (45k) 2A42 gun of the Ka-52, photo by Simon Watson from Kamov Ka-52

    Two Klimov TV3-117VMA 2200hp with VR-80 reductor (more powerful engines can be used with the same reductor, 2500hp engines are planned with short "emergency mode" of 2800hp).

    Ka-52 inherited from Ka-50 its 30mm gun 2A42 (as for BMP-2, BMP-3, BMD-2, BMD-3, "Pantsyr") with selective round feeds. It is is trainable over a range of -2°30' to +9° in azimuth and +3°30' to -37° in elevation. Choice of semi-fixed gun was supported by airdynamic advantages over the bulky chin turret and high turn speed of the symmetric coaxial rotor helicopter. Six undercarriages (four pylons plus wingtip mounts) can carry variety of weapons depending on the mission goal: from GUV-8700 machine gun pod to 500kg caliber bombs and X-25ML AA missiles (up to 15km range) with laser semi-active guidance.

    Armament variants:
    Inner PylonMiddle PylonTip Pylon
  • B-8V-20 (20-round B-8 80-mm)
  • UPK-23-250
  • 250 or 500 kg bomb (FAB-250/500, KAB-500Kr)
  • KMGU Cluster bomb
  • AA/AS missile (Kh-25MP/AS-10 anti-radar, R-60, R-73 X-25ML)
  • Fuel Tank
  • 6*'Vikhr-M' antitank (AT-9/12)
  • B-8V-20 (20-round B-8 80-mm)
  • 250/500kg or Cluster bomb
  • B-13 pod with 5 122mm S-13 Rockets
  • AA/AS missile
  • ECM/aiming containers
  • Fuel Tank
  • 2 or 4 'Igla-V'
  • Other options include aiming stations for Ka-50, chaff/flare pods, PLAB weapons dispenser.
    (52k) Ka-52 decoy arrays, from Watson's Military collection

    What's interesting about the CM suite on board the Alligator is the use of "rejectors" or a decoy based system instead of the conventional chaff & flare combination. Found on the stub wingtip ends, the containers can house up to 32 decoys of 26mm each...

    On June 25 1997 the first official flight of Ka-52 took place. The Ka-52 "Alligator" was piloted by the test-pilot Alexander Smirnov and test-engineer Dmitry Titov. Prototype differed from pre-series by 'Arbalet' radar located in the nose, not on the rotor mast top. The optronics system was not fitted.

    Naturally, Alligator is more expensive than Black Shark. However, this is attributable to payments for the capability to perform combat missions on higher and more efficient levels. The advent of Ka-52 does not mean its automatic substitution by the Ka-50. They can be used more effectively in the interests of the ground forces, owing to their optimal joint employment in groupings. A similar approach is also adopted by the U.S. army aviation. The more costly and sophisticated AH-64D and AH-64D Longbow helicopter versions do not replace, but instead reinforce the AH-64A Apache helicopter groupings, thereby increasing their efficiency.

    In the near future the Ka-52 will be subjected to tests. The Kamov company and its foreign partners are convinced of the successful results of the tests that will enable the Ka-52 helicopter to occupy a leading position in its class. It is up to foreign buyers to decide whether to choose the Ka-50 or the Ka-52 or a hybrid to meet their requirements.

    Kamov is actively marketing the Ka-50 as the Black Shark and the Ka-52 as the Alligator on the world market and they may yet find their ways into service with Middle Eastern or African nations attracted to its relatively low purchase price.


    Ka-50-2 'Erdogan'
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft., p. 545
  • The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes, p. 148
  • Modern Fighting Helicopters, p. 128-129.
  • Jane's Combat Aircraft, p. 132-133.
  • Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, p. 454.
  • Independent Military Review No 28, 1997
  • International Directory of Military Aircraft 1998-1999
  • Links
  • Ka-52 Alligator
  • Ka-52 helicopter
  • Ka-52
  • Ka-52 helicopter
  • Arseniev Aviation Company 'Progress'
  • Kamov Ka-50 and Ka-52
  • Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator"
  • Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator"
  • Alligator learns how to fly
  • Interview with V.Prosvetov
  • Alligator, Shark's relative
  • Ka-52 "Alligator"
  • "Alligator". Takeoffs and landings.
  • Ka-52 for South Korea

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  • New Sovietskiy Modified Kamov Ka-50 Hokum-A/B Helicopters
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  • Russians are coming!
  • Only Politics Can Stop Kamov's Alligator Helicopter
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  • defense: Kamov’s long-shot bid
  • Photos
  • Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator"
  • Ka-50/52
  • Ka-52 wallpaper
  • Russian helicopter cockpits
  • Der Hokum/Werewolf fliegt nicht nur bei Vollmond
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  • SIMS
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  • Ka-52 Team Alligator
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  • KA-52 Team Alligator Interview

  • Created April 20, 2001 Back to
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