In 1973 in response to a Navy requirement the OKB started the design and construction of a transport/attack derivative of the Ka-27 - the Ka-29 shipboard helicopter. Deputy Chief Designer S.N.Fomin was entrusted with heading the design effort. Leading designer G.M.Danilochkin became his assistant, while B.V.Barshevsky was appointed leading engineer of the test programme. The prototype made its first flight on July 28, 1976 with test pilot Ye.I.Laryushin at the controls. The Ka-29 enhanced the mobility and effectiveness of amphibious landing operations, deploying both on ships and at coastal bases. The helicopter featured an effective navigation, targeting and communication suite. Its armament in the Ka-29TB assault version comprised anti-tank guided missiles, gun pods, unguided rockets, free-fall bombs and submunitions dispensers. The transport version could accomodate 16 fully-armed troops or carry outsize loads weighing up to 4000kg on a sling and was armed with a rapid-firing 7.62-mm machine-gun. The State acceptance trials were completed in May 1979 and production began in 1984.
In the world helicopter design practice there is no direct equivalent to the Ka-29. The со-axial helicopter's ease of piloting, coupled with the low vibration level, lessen targeting errors and the initial dispersal of ammunition, which considerably improves firing accuracy. This has been substantiated by comparing the test results of the single-rotor Mi-24 and the со-axial Ka-29 equipped with the same models of sights, fixed gun armament and unguided rockets. Weapon accuracy on the Ka-29 proved to be approximately twice as high. In 1987 G.M.Danilochkin was awarded the State Prize for his role in the development of the Ka-29's weapons system.
G.Kuznetsov "OKB Kamov - 50 years", 1999
Developed for AV-MF, following cancellation of proposed joint-service, tandem-rotor, multirole V-50 and its replacement by what became Ka-50, meeting Army requirement only. Ka-252TB prototype (also known as Izdelie D2B or Izdelie 502) first flew 28 July 1976, possibly with Ka-25 nose or original narrow Ka-27/Ka-32 nose. Production at Kumertau (KAPP) from 1984.
Entered service with Northern and Pacific Fleets 1985; photographed on board assault ship Ivan Rogov in Mediterranean 1987, thought to be Ka-27B and given NATO reporting name 'Helix-B'; identified as Ka-29 combat transport at Frunze (Khodinka) Air Show, Moscow, August 1989; Ka-31 radar picket version completed initial shipboard trials on aircraft carrier Admiral of the Fleet Kuznetsov (then Tbilisi) 1990.
Ka-29TB ('Helix-B'): Armed derivative for day/night, VFR and IFR, transport and close support of seaborne assault troops; in-the-field conversion from one role to the other. Non-retractable landing gear and 50cm wider armoured flight deck. Reportedly used by Experimental Combat Group in Chechen War in 1996. No recent production known.
Detailed description generally as for Ka-32 except as under.
Ka-31 (formerly Ka-29RLD: radiolokatsyonnogo Dozora: radar picket helicopter): Development began 1980; first flown October 1987; two examples (031 and 032) tested on Admiral of the Fleet Kuznetsov; state testing completed in 1996; limited production launched (for Indian Navy) at Kumertau Aircraft Plant, Bashkiriya, 1999. Indian aircraft have 12-channel Kronshtadt GPS with Abris digital moving map and a 152x203mm AMLCD screen.
Basic airframe of Ka-27 with broader flight deck; E-801 or E-801M (export) Oko (eye) early warning radar system by Radio Engineering Institute, Nizhny Novgorod, includes large rotating radar antenna (area 6.0m2) that stows flat against underfuselage and deploys downward, turning through 90° into vertical plane before starting to rotate at 6 rpm; landing gear retracts upward to prevent interference, nosewheels into long fairings. Once system has been switched on, antenna extended and operation mode selected, data on air targets flying below helicopter’s altitude, and on water surface situation, are acquired, evaluated and transmitted automatically to command centre, requiring only two crew (pilot and navigator, latter monitoring - but not operating - the system) in helicopter. Kronshtadt Kabris GPS navigation and display system. Loiter speed 100 to 120km/h at up to 3,500m; loiter duration 2h 30 min. Maximum surveillance radius 100 to 150km for fighter-size targets, 250km for surface vessels; up to 20 targets tracked simultaneously. Antenna can be retracted manually or explosively jettisoned in the event of a forced landing.
Two large panniers starboard side of cabin, fore and aft of main landing gear on helicopter numbered 032 (forward panniers only on 031); starboard airstair-type cabin door, aft of flight deck, divided horizontally into upward- and downward-opening sections, with box fairing in place of window; hatch window deleted above starboard rear pannier; new TA-8Ka APU positioned ahove rear of engine bay fairing, with slot-type air intake at front of housing, displacing usual ESM and IR jamming pods, gives radar and antenna an independent power supply. Tyre size 620x180 on main wheels, 480x200 on nosewheels. Tailcone extended by fairing tor flight recorder; no armour, guu door, stores pylons or outriggers.
Ka-33: Utility transport. Civilianised version of Ka-29TB shipborne assault transport. Designation revealed tit Moscow Air Show in August 1997; no further details released and no known conversions.
CUSTOMERS: Total of 59 Ka-29s built for Russian Federation Naval Aviation (about 45) and Ukrainian Navy (about 12). Following 1996 evaluation, four Ka-31s ordered in August 1999 by Indian Navy for delivery in 2001 and basing aboard aircraft carriers and 'Krivak' class destroyers; further five ordered. February 2001. Additional 12 maybe required. Fust flight of Indian Ka-31 16 May 2001; by October 2001, first two Indian airframes delivered from KAPP to Kamov at Moscow for avionics installation; flight trials completed of first two Indian aircraft by September 2002; remaining seven scheduled to follow in 2003. In October 2002, Kamov reported a second export customer for Ka-31s in addition to Indian Navy.
COSTS: Indian Navy batch of four priced at Rs4 billion (US$92 million) (2000); second five cost US$108 million (2001).
POWER PLANT: Two Klimov TV3-117VMA turboshafts, each 1,633kW. Engines started by APU. Fuel tanks filled with reticulated polyurethane foam for fire suppression.
ACCOMMODATION: Wider flight deck than Ka-27 for two crew; three flat-plate windscreen glazings instead of two-piece curved transparency; 350kg of armour around cockpit and engines; main cabin port-side door, aft of landing gear, divided honzontally into upward- and downward-opening sections, lower section forming step when open, to facilitate rapid exit of up to 16 assault troops; four stretcher patients, seven seated casualties and medical attendant in ambulance role; internal or slung cargo provisions.
AVIONICS: Comms: Two UHF and HF radios.
EQUIPMENT: Station-keeping light between ESM and jammer.
ARMAMENT: Four-barrel Gatling-type GShG-7.62 7.62mm machine gun, with 1,800 rounds, flexibly mounted behind down ward-articulated door on starboard side of nose; four pylons on outriggers, for two four-round packs of 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 'Spiral') ASMs and two UV-32-57 57 or B-8V20 80mm rocket pods. Alternative loads include four rocket packs, two pods each containing a 23mm gun and 250 rounds, or twn ZAB 500 incendiary bombs. Internal weapons bay for torpedo or bombs. Provision fur 30mm Type 2A42 gun above port outrigger, with 250-round ammunition feed from cabin.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005