|Kamov Ka-50 "Black Shark"|
Ka-50 "Black Shark" is a single-seat attack helicopter for destroying armored vehicles, slow-speed air targets and manpower on the battlefield.Coaxial Ka-50 helicopter has two three-blade rotors of 14.5-m diameter each. The polymeric composite blade is attached to the hub by a torsion bar. The airframe features perfect aerodynamic outlines, mid-set stub wing, retractable three-leg landing gear and empennage of a fixed-wing aircraft type. The pilot cockpit is fully armored. The emergency pilot escape system, comprising an ejection seat, saves the pilot within the entire flight speed and altitude range. A set of improved survivability means allows Ka-50 to attack successfully the specified targets and to survive under intensive fire counteraction.
A coaxial rotor helicopter features: higher power-to-weight ratio due to the absence of power losses for a tail rotor; 1.5...2 times lower inertia moments of the helicopter; ability to perform a pedal (flat) turn within the full flight speed range; the best vertical rate of climb and hovering ceiling.
The load factor of 3.5G combined with the above unique qualities allows the helicopter to perform combat maneuvers within the minimum air area and the shortest time to gain an advantageous attack position.
Numerous weapons options for the helicopter are achieved by arranging a movable high-speed firing gun starboard of the helicopter, and by six available external wing stores with different combination of anti-tank missiles, rockets, "air-to-air" missiles, gun ammunition of a container type and bombs of various caliber.
Total weight of the weapons on the wing stores is 2300kg. From the point of view of the weapons power the "Black Shark" helicopter is superior to all existing combat helicopters.
The on-board avionics suite ensures helicopter piloting and control including the use of satellite navigational system, 24 hours a day, in anytime of the year. The observation, search and sighting systems comprising TV, laser and IR equipment are capable to detect targets and to fire the full arsenal of weapons in day and night conditions
English name: Black Shark
NATO reporting name: Hokum
TYPE: Attack helicopter.
PROGRAMME: Project launched in December 1977 as V-80 (Vertolyet 80: Helicopter 80); first prototype (010) built by Kamov bureau and hovered at Lyubertsy 17 June 1982 and flew on 23 July, powered by TV3-117V engines; second prototype (011) flew 16 August 1983 with TV3-117VMA engines and mockup of Shkval tracking system, Merkury LLLTV, cannon and K-041 sighting system; both prototypes wore painted 'windows' to simulate fictitious rear cockpits. Initially reported in West in mid-1984, but first photograph did not appear (US Department of Defense's Soviet Military Power) until 1989. First prototype lost in fatal accident on 3 April 1985; replaced by third prototype (012) with Mercury LLTV system for state comparative test programme against Mil Mi-28, which completed in August 1986. Two preproduction V-80Sh-1s (014 and 015) were first to be built at Arsenyev and introduced UV 26 chaff/flare dispensers; second had K-37-800 ejection system and mockup of LLLTV in articulated turret. Ordered into production in December 1987. Further three for continued development work comprised 018 (first flown at Arsenyev 22 May 1991), 020 "Werewolf" and 021 "Black Shark". (Export marketing name was originally Werewolf, but changed to Black Shark by 1996.) State tests of Ka-50 began in mid-1991 and type was commissioned into Russian Army Aviation in August 1993 for trials at 4th Army Aviation Training Centre, Torzhok. In August 1994, the Ka-50 was included in the Russian Army inventory by Presidential decree, judged winner of the fly-off against Mi-28. The Mi-28 was nominally terminated on 5 October 1994 but the competition continued.
Further army evaluation followed when first two of four production Ka-50s were funded in 1994 and officially accepted on 28 August 1995; third and fourth received in 1996; these four numbered 20 to 23 (prompting pre-series 021 to be renumbered 024 to avoid confusion). Arsenyev production was to have increased to one per month during 1997, but this did not occur. The original Ka-50 (and rival Mi-28A) were overtaken by the issue of a revised requirement which emphasised night capability - favouring the two-seat Mi-28. The initial order for 15 Ka-50s was reportedly cancelled in September 1998, with procurement postponed until 2003. Three deployed to Mozdok during 1999 for use in Chechnya, but not used operationally. Two returned to theatre in December 2000; first firing of weapons against guerrilla forces was on 6 January 2001 (operating in conjunction with Mil Mi-24s); helicopters returned to Torzhok in March 2001. Unspecified modifications, found necessary as a consequence of operational deployment, had been incorporated by November 2002, according to a Kamov announcement.
Klimov VK-3000 turboshaft offered as alternative power plant.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Ka-50 ('Hokum'): As described.
Ka-50N (Nochnoy: Nocturnal): Also reported as Ka-50Sh. Night-capable attack version; essentially a single-seat Ka-52. Programme began 1993; originally based on TpSPO-V and Merkury LLLTV systems, which tested on Ka-50 development aircraft. Ka-50N first reported April 1997 as conversion of prototype 018 with Thomson-CSF Victor FLIR turret above the nose and Arbalet (crossbow) mast-mounted radar, plus second TV screen in cockpit; FLIR integrated with Uralskyi Optiko- Mekhanicheskyi Zavod (UOMZ) Samshit-50 (Laurel-50) electro-optic sighting system, incorporating French IR set. First flight variously reported as 4 March or 5 May 1997; programmed improvements included replacement of PA-4-3 paper moving map with digital equivalent; by August 1997, FLIR turret was repositioned below nose and Arbalet was removed; by mid-1998, had IT-23 CRT display replaced by TV-109, and HUD removed and replaced by Marconi helmet display. Proposed new cockpit shown in September 1998, having two Russkaya Avionika 203 x 152mm LCDs and central CRT for sensor imagery. Indigenous avionics intended for any local production orders; French systems as interim solution and standard for export. Republic of Korea Army evaluated both the Ka-50N and the baseline Ka-50. In 1999, pre-production aircraft 014 was exhibited with a UOMZ GOES sensor turret in place of Shkval.
Ka-50-2: Designation applies to three quite different aircraft. Basic Ka-50-2 is a variant of the Ka-50 single-seater, though the designation is also applied to two twin-seat aircraft; first of these was a version of the Ka-52 Alligator. All Ka-50-2s differ from the baseline Ka-52 in retaining attack and anti-tank rote using 12 laser beam-riding AT-8 Vikhr ATGMs or 16 Rafael NT-D ATGMs; avionics to be supplied by Israel Aircraft Industries, Lahav Division; 024 used as demonstrator. The basic Ka-50-2 was proposed to China, Finland, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Poland. South Africa, Syria and Turkey.
Second variant of Ka-50-2 is another two-seater, intended to have conventional stepped tandem cockpits; is offered to armed forces which do not accept the single-seat or side-by-side two-seat layouts. A further subvariant of the tandem-seat Ka-50-2, the Erdogan (Turkish for Born Fighter), was proposed to Turkey jointly by Kamov and Israel Aircraft Industries. This would have been fitted with longer-span wings and feature a NATO-compatible Giat 621 turret containing a single 20mm cannon which would fold down below the belly of the helicopter in flight, for a 360° arc of fire; it would fold to starboard for landing, and could be fired directly forward, even when folded. TV3- 117VMA-02 engines. Ten Turkish pilots flew Alligator "061" at Antalya, Turkey, in early 1999 as part of evaluation process; requirement was for 145. Named as second choice when Bell AH-1Z selected, but negotiations reopened in mid-2002, following impasse in negotiations with USA. Ka-52: Two-seat version.
CUSTOMERS: Four for Russian Army service trials, plus eight flying prototype and pre-series helicopters; all delivered. Further 10 ordered in 1997 budget and six in 1998, of which first three were due for delivery before end of 1998; initial helicopter eventually completed in June 1999, two more being due by mid-2000. By early 2003, it was still unclear if helicopters from the first batch of 10 had been delivered to Army Aviation. Two operational Ka-50s shown at Moscow Salon in August 2001 may have been repainted trials aircraft. One army helicopter lost in accident 17 June 1998; attributed to rotor clash.
COSTS: Unit price of Ka-50N quoted as between US$12 million and US$15 million in mid-1999.
DESIGN FEATURES: World's first single-seat close support helicopter. Coaxial, contrarotating and widely separated semi-rigid three-blade rotors, with swept blade tip, attached to hub by steel plates; small fuselage cross-section, with nose sensors; flat-screen cockpit, heavily armour protected by combined steel/aluminium armour and spaced aluminium plates, with rearview mirror above windscreen; small sweptback tailfin, with inset rudder and large tab; high-set tailplane on rear fuselage, with endplate auxiliary fins; retractable landing gear; mid-set unswept wings, carrying ECM pods at tips; four underwing weapon pylons; engines above wingroots; high agility for fast, low-flying, close-range attack role; partially dismantled can be air-ferried in Il-76 freighter. Much of fuselage skin formed by large hinged door panels, providing access to interior equipment from ground level.
FLYING CONTROLS: Kamov coaxial design; generally as Ka-32.
STRUCTURE: Fuselage built around steel torsion box beam, of 1.0m square section. Wing centre-section passes through beam. Cockpit mounted at front of beam, gearbox above and engines to sides. Carbon-based composites materials constitute 35% by weight of structure, including rotors. Approximately 350kg of armour protects pilot, engines, fuel system and ammunnion bay; canopy and windscreen panels are 55mm thick bulletproof glass.
LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type; twin-wheel steerable nose unit and single mainwheels all semi-exposed when up; all wheels retract rearward; low-pressure tyres.
POWER PLANT: Two 1,633kW Klimov TV3- 117VMA turboshafts with VR-80 main reduction gearbox and two PVR-800 intermediate gearboxes, with air intake dust filters and exhaust heat suppressors. Later use of 1,838kW TV3-117VMA-SB3 turboshafts intended. Two primary fuel tanks, filled with reticulated foam, inside fuselage box beam. Total internal capacity approximately 1,800 litres. Front tank feeds port engine; rear feeds starboard and APU. Each tank protected by layers of natural rubber. Provision for four 500 litre underwing auxiliary fuel tanks. Transmission remains operable for 30 minutes after oil system failure.
ACCOMMODATION: Double-wall steel armoured cockpit, able to protect pilot from hits by 20 and 23mm gunfire over ranges as close as 100m. Interior black-painted for use with NVGs. Specially designed Zvezda K-37-800 ejection system, ostensibly for safe ejection at any altitude (actually from 100m); following explosive separation of rotor blades and opening of cockpit roof, pilot is extracted from cockpit by large rocket; alternatively, he can jettison doors and stores before rolling out of cockpit sideways. Associated equipment includes automatic radio beacon, activated during ejection, inflatable liferaft and NAZ 7M survival kit.
SYSTEMS: All systems configured for operational deployment away from base for up to 12 days without need for maintenance ground equipment; refuelling, avionics and weapon servicing performed from ground level. AI-9V APU for engine starting, and ground supply of hydraulic and electrical power, in top of centre-fuselage. Anti-icing system for engine air intakes, rotors, AoA and yaw sensors; de-icing of windscreen and canopy by liquid spray.
PrPNK Rubikon (L-041) piloting, navigation and sighting system based on five computers: four Orbita BLVM-20-751 s for combat and navigation displays and target designation, plus one BCVM-80-30201 for WCS. Incorporates PNK-800 Radian navigation system, with C-061K pitch and heading data, IK-VSP-VI-2 speed and altitude and PA-4-3 automatic position plotting subsystems. Series 3 Tester U3 flight data recorder. Ekran BITE and warning system. KKO-VK-LP oxygen system with 2 litre supply for 90 minutes. Electrical supply from two 400kW generators at 115V 400Hz three-phase AC; 500W converter; rectifiers for 27V DC supply.
AVIONICS: Integrated by NPO Elektro Avtomatika.
ARMAMENT: Four BD3-UV pylons on wings. Up to 80 S-8 80mm air-to-surface rockets in four underwing B8V20A packs or 20 S-13 122mm rockets in four B-13L pods; or up to 12 9A4172 Vikhr-M (AT-12) tube-launched laser-guided ASMs with range of 8 to 10km capable of penetrating 900mm of reactive armour; or mix of both; Vikhr launched from trainable UPP-800 mounts, which can be depressed to -12°; single-barrel 30mm 2A42 gun on starboard side of fuselage, with up to 470 armour-piercing or high-explosive fragmentation rounds, can be depressed from +3° 30' to -37° in elevation and traversed from -2° 30' to +9° in azimuth hydraulically and is kept on target in azimuth by tracker which turns helicopter on its axis; two ammunition boxes in centre-fuselage. Front box contains 240 AP rounds, rear box 230 HE rounds. Selectable rapid (550 to 600 rds/min) or slow (350 rds/min) fire, with bursts of 10 or 20 rounds. Provision for alternative weapons, including UPK-23-250 23mm gun pods, Igla or R-73 (AA-11 'Archer') AAMs. Kh-25MP (AS-12 'Kegler') ARMs, FAB-500 bombs or dispenser weapons.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005