Ka -50 Kamov Hokum Werewolf
The Ka-50 Black Shark helicopter, developed by Kamov Helicopters JSC, carries the NATO codename Hokum A, Hokum B being the two-seat version, Ka-52. Ka-50 is also known as Werewolf. It entered service in the Russian Army during 1995 and is in full production at the Sazykin Aviation Company Progress based in Arseniev maritime Territory, Russia. It is a high performance combat helicopter with day and night capability, high survivability and fire power to defeat air targets and heavily armoured tanks armed with air defence weapons.
The Ka-50 helicopter is fitted with observation and sighting systems together with navigation, communication and other systems to enable one crew-member to pilot and engage hostile forces in combat. A combination of various armaments to a maximum weapon load of 2 tons are selected according to the mission, including anti-tank missiles, unguided aerial rockets of different calibres, air-to-air missiles, guns, bombs and other weapons.
The helicopter has small mid-mounted wings fitted with four underwing suspension units and wingtip countermeasures pods. Up to 12 Vikhr supersonic antitank missiles can be mounted on the helicopter's two underwing external stores.
The missiles are automatically guided to the selected air or ground target using laser beam riding and feature a high degree of jam resistance. The Vikhr missile has a target hit probability close to one, against a tank at a range of up to 8 km. The kill probability is also rated very highly with the capability of penetrating all types of armour including active armour up to 900 mm thick.
The Ka-50 is armed with a 2A42 quick-firing 30-mm gun which has an unrestricted azimuth and elevation range mounting for use against airborne or ground targets. The gun is mounted near the centre of gravity of the helicopter for consistent accuracy. The gun is equipped with 460 rounds of ammunition, two types being carried, high-fragmentation and explosive incendiary rounds and armour-piercing rounds. The pilot selects the type of ammunition in flight. The weight of the ammunition is 0.39 kg each round, the muzzle velocity is 980 m/s and the range is up to 4 km. The gun provides an angular firing accuracy of 2 to 4 mrad.
Flight systems include inertial navigation system (INS), autopilot and head-up display (HUD). Sensors include FLIR (forward-looking infrared) and terrain-following radar.
Ka-50 is fitted with radar warning receiver, electronic warfare system and chaff and flare dispenser.
The Ka-50 is powered by two TV3-117VMA turboshafts engines each providing 2,200 horsepower. The power plant is fitted with deflectors and separators to prevent dust ingestion in the air intakes which protects the engines from wear when taking off from unprepared sites. The engines are placed on either side of the fuselage to enhance the combat survivability. The helicopter also has an auxiliary power unit (APU) for self-contained operation.
The coaxial rotor design provides a hovering ceiling of 4,000 metres and vertical rate of climb of 10 metres per second at an altitude of 2,500 metres. The rotor blades are made from polymer materials. The hingeless main rotor head requires no lubrication.
The coaxial-rotor configuration results in moments of inertia values relative to vertical and lateral axes being between 1.5 to 2 times less than the values found in conventionally designed combat single rotor helicopters with tailrotors. Absence of the tail rotor enables the helicopter to perform flat turns within the entire flight speed range. A maximum vertical g-load of 3.5 combined with low moments of inertia give the Ka-50 a high level of agility and manoeuvrability.
Two separately mounted engines at a maximum distance reduce the probability of their simultaneous damage. The powerplant has an operational life of 30 minutes without oil, giving the pilot the opportunity to land in a safe location in the event that the oil system is damaged in combat. The helicopter also has duplicated and stand-by hydraulic and power systems and main control circuits.
Extensive all-round armour installed in the cockpit protects the pilot against 12.7 mm armour piercing bullets and 23 mm projectile fragments. The rotor blades are rated to withstand several hits of ground-based automatic weapons providing the capability of safe flight completion after sustaining impact.
Protection of fuel tanks against explosion hazards and fuel leakage is provided by porous fuel tank fillers and fuel tank self-sealing covers, and a comprehensive fire extinguishing system is installed. Engine exhaust heat screens reduce the thermal signature of the helicopter and flare dispensers protect the helicopter against heatseeking missiles.
The Ka-50 is the world's first operational helicopter with a rescue ejection system, which allows pilot to escape at all altitudes and speeds. The K-37-800 Rocket Assisted Ejection System is manufactured by the Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise Joint Stock Company in the Moscow Region. The seat operates by pulling the pilot from the helicopter cabin using a solid-propellant rocket motor. The system comprises the seat, a control unit and a pullout rocket motor. The seat is fitted with a survival pack containing an NAZ-7M survival kit, a life raft and a PS-37A parachute system. The seat provides safe forced emergency escape from helicopters in the speed range 0 to 350 km/hour and at altitude 0 to 6,000 metres. The seat also provides safe ejection during inverted flight (at speeds 0 to 330 km/h with zero vertical velocity) at a minimum altitude of 90 metres.
Built in test and diagnostics equipment ensures fast maintenance turnaround time. Under operational conditions the helicopter has a 12-day combat availability with minimum maintenance during off-base deployment.
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Last updated : Wednesday, March 21, 2001