Mar 11, 2015

Russian Navy new Ka-52K Hokum B Naval Attack Helicopter Conducted its First Test Flight

Pictures have emerged on Russian social networks showing the first test flight of the new Ka-52K Naval Attack helicopter. Based on the Ka-52 "Alligator" the K version has been specifically modified for the Russian Navy to operate the helicopters from the Mistral class LHDs.
The navalised version of the Alligator features a folding rotor head and folding stub-wings. Other modifications are rumored to include the ability to launch Kh-31 and Kh-35 anti-ship missiles. Some reports also reported the installation of a Mig-35 fighter's Zhuk-A phased array radar in the nose of the Ka-52K.
The first test flight of the new Ka-52K took place on March 7. The helicopter features a dark gray camouflage. The inscription on the tailmeans it belong to the Russian Navy Naval Aviation.
The helicopter features four hardpoints under its wings. Similar to the land forces version, the Ka-52K is fitted with a GOES-451 optronic sensor under the nose and a 2A42 30-mm automatic cannon.
Intended originally to be deployed from the two Mistral class LHDs built in France, it is not clear what the Russian Navy will do if the two amphibious vessels are not delivered. Russian Ministry of Defence official have recently declared however that the Russian Navy has a need for Naval Attack helicopters and will use the Ka-52K regardless of the Russian Mistrals fate. It won't be possible for the Russian Navy to operate them from the future Ivan Gren-class landing ship (Project 11711). The Ka-52K will have to be shore based or deployed from Russian Navy's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The handover of the first ship, the Vladivostok, was scheduled for November 14, but did not take place.
On November 25, French President Francois Hollande postponed the delivery of the Vladivostok to Russia over the situation in Ukraine.

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