Kamov to Make First Helicopters for Mistral Ships in 2013
Photo: Western Military District Press Service
First batch-produced helicopters Ka-52K for Mistral-class amphibious assault ships will roll off production line in 2013, said Sergei Mikheev, chief designer of the Kamov bureau.
"First batch of Ka-52K will be completed in 2013. By arrival of the first Mistral, we're ready to produce as many helicopters as defense ministry wants", Mikheev said reminding that one Mistral-class ship accommodates 16 helicopters, reports RIA Novosti.
As for him, ship-based version of the Ka-52 helicopter in many ways resembles the serial one except some "nuances" needed for overwater flights. "I mean ventilation issues, pilot suits, and some special-purpose instruments. One of the main distinctive features is folded rotor blades", Mikheev said.
He specified that designers were doing their best to expand batch production without serious changes. The chief designer emphasized that helicopters Ka-29/31 which would also be stationed on Mistrals needed neither refitting nor modernization. It is a standard ship-based helicopter in Russian Navy. "Size of Ka-29 is okay, they land on the deck and fit the elevators", Mikheev said.
As was reported on Sept 19, air wing consisting of 30 Ka-52K and Ka-29 helicopters will be formed for each of two Mistral-class ships built in France for Russian Navy.
Strength and type of on-board air groups will depend on certain situation and assigned tasks.
Construction of experimental helicopters Ka-52 Alligator is going on at the Progress plant (Primorsky Krai, Russia).
It was reported on Oct 22 that French shipyard STX France would launch the first Russian Mistral-class ship in Sept 2013.
Moscow and Paris signed the contract for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The contract value was EUR 1.2 bln.
The first landing ship for Russian Navy was laid down early in Feb 2012.
Russian Mistrals will bear names of Vladivostok and Sevastopol. All of them will be equipped with newest Russian attack and defense weapons, including supersonic cruise missiles.
On Oct 13, chief of Navy Development Planning Dept RADM Vasily Lyashok said that Mistral-class amphibious assault ships would be commissioned into Pacific Fleet in 2014 and 2015.
On Oct 1, Baltiysky Zavod Shipbuilding Ltd (St. Petersburg) began construction of the hull for the first out of two other Mistral ships to be build under French license.
In Aug 2012, Russia started manufacturing of experimental helicopters Ka-52K to be based on Mistral-class ships.
Russian Navy will start employment of crews for those ships on competition basis in 2013.