The Ka-52K continued to be developed after that, with the first of four Ka-52Ks ordered for the Russian Navy taking off on March 7, 2015.

The Russian Navy has been planning for Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. And the Ka-52K “Katran”, a naval variant of the Ka-52, has been selected as the new ship-borne attack type for the Russian Naval Aviation. However, after Russia annexed Crimea, the sale of the Mistrals was canceled and they were later sold to Egypt. Egypt subsequently purchased 46 Ka-52s, with deliveries extending from 2017 to 2019. However, the Egyptian Ka-52s are conventional land variants, not the Ka-52K.

The Ka-52K continued to be developed after that, with the first of four Ka-52Ks ordered for the Russian Navy taking off on March 7, 2015. After a period of uncertainty, the Ka-52K’s future with the Russian Navy now appears clearer. In July 2020, the keel was laid for two new Project 23900 amphibious assault ships in the Zalyv Shipbuilding yard. Each ship will be able to carry up to 18 helicopters, including Ka-52Ks. The Ka-52K has passed all tests and was ready for serial production as of September 2020.

Designed for carrier operation, the Ka-52K was redesigned with folding rotor blades, folding wings, and reinforced landing gear. Since its wings are shorter than those of the land-based variants, the Ka-52K only has four weapons pylons, instead of six on the land-based Ka-52. The Ka-52K will also be able to use Kh-35 and Kh-38 missiles. However, they haven’t yet been integrated in the helicopter’s mission suite.

The helicopter features an advanced glass cockpit, which accommodates two pilots in a side-by-side layout. It can be operated by either pilot and is equipped with advanced avionics and powerful weapon systems, which can be configured for different roles. The on-board avionics with the use of radio equipment and satellite navigation ensure autonomous landing on the ship deck, and the on-board equipment further makes the helicopter a network-centric system for interaction between the Navy and Air Force.

The Ka-52K is equipped with a laser-beam guidance system and Okhotnik video processing system developed by KRET. The on-board Arbalet radar system allows the helicopter to effectively perform combat missions even in environments exposed to electronic jamming. The helicopter can detect hostile vessels at a range of 200km. The ship-based helicopter is equipped with a Vitebsk defence system, SAU-800 automatic control system, enables the pilots to operate the helicopter in manual, and automatic control modes.

The helicopter carries a 2A42-1 30mm automatic cannon, with a maximum rate of fire of 550 rounds a minute. The Ka-52K is also capable of launching Kh-31 and Kh-35 air-to-surface missiles, similar to carrier-based MiG-29K/KUB multipurpose fighter jets and Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-C) aircraft.

The Ka-52K is powered by two VK-2500 or VK-2500P turbo-shaft engines developing a maximum take-off power of 2,400hp each. The engines provide a maximum speed of 300km/h and cruising speed of 260km/h. The helicopter has an operational ceiling of 5,500m and can climb at a maximum rate of 16m/s. The practical and ferry ranges of the rotorcraft are 460km and 1,100km respectively.


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