Ka-31 began to be put into operation in 1995, so far there are more than 35 aircraft in service with the Russian, Chinese and Indian Navy.

Early warning aircraft is a special aerial combat vehicle, equipped with a powerful radar system, capable of detecting dozens of long-range targets. In modern air combat, early warning aircraft plays a very important role in enhancing the ability to coordinate combat between combat vehicles. The Russian Ka-31 Airborne early warning and control helicopter, with a unit price of about $23 million, is a powerful addition to Navy units. Ka-31 began to be put into operation in 1995, so far there are more than 35 aircraft in service with the Russian, Chinese and Indian Navy.

Kamov Ka-31
Kamov Ka-31

The Kamov Joint Stock Company, began development of the Ka-31 medium-weight naval helicopter in 1980 and the first flight took place in 1987. At that time, the Soviet Navy wanted a stop-gap measure and began investigating viable platforms to act as AEW at sea.

The airframe of the Ka-31 is based on the Kamov Ka-27. One visually distinctive feature of the Ka-31 is the large antenna of the early-warning radar, which is either rotating or folded and stowed under the fuselage. The second is the reduction of the bulky electro-optical sensory suite beneath the cockpit. The landing gear retracts in order to prevent interference with the radar.

The radar of the Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopter has a 360° coverage and can spot aircraft-size target from 150 km range. Surface ships are spotted from 100–200 km range. Radar can track 30–40 targets simultaneously. The helicopter has a datalink to transfer target tracking data to the command post. The Ka-31 is fitted with GPS and digital terrain mapping systems.

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