In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Ka-52 took the limelight and became the armed helicopter with the highest appearance rate. In fact, there are mainly three types of heavy armed helicopters that the Russian army used in this war. In addition to the Ka-52, there are also Mi-24 and Mi-28, but the Ka-52 mainly undertakes many large-scale airborne assault operations of the Russian army.
In addition, in the battle at Antonov Airport, the Russian army won first and then lost. Later, with the strong and continuous heavy fire support of Ka-52 and other heavy armed helicopters, they gave a tough fight to the Ukrainian Army. The siege of the brigade finally came to the rescue of the Russian armored forces and finally won. The Ka-52 played an important role in this battle and was known as the game changer.
The reason why the Ka-52 can cause heavy destruction in the enemy forces is because of its wide variety of weapons which helps it to deliver strong performance on the battlefield.
As a heavily armed gunship, the Ka-52’s weapon system is very large. It has many weapon mount points under its side wings. One of them is the cannon mount point, which is located on the right side of the fuselage. It is generally mounted with a single-barreled 30mm 2A42 cannon with 280 rounds of ammunition. It can also be mounted with a 23mm cannon, AA-8 or AA-11 air-to-air missiles, VB-32-57 rocket launchers, FAB-50 bombs and other weapons. The other 4 are rocket/missile mounting points, located under the short wings on both sides, generally can mount 4 rocket launch pods, up to 80 S-8 rockets, or up to 12 AT-12 laser guidance Air-to-surface missiles have a range of 8-10 kilometers and can penetrate 900 mm of armor. Therefore, the Ka-52 can launch missiles to attack targets outside the enemy’s air defense zone to ensure the safety of other helicopters.
Compared with other armed helicopters, the Ka-52 can provide fire support for ground forces for a longer period of time.
The Ka-52 has the convenience of operation. The most notable feature of the Ka-52 helicopter is its cockpit with a side-by-side two-seat layout, rather than the traditional tandem two-seat. The two-seat tandem arrangement of the traditional cockpit has the gunner in the front and the pilot behind. The design of the side-by-side two-seater is designed and developed according to the driving needs and combat missions of modern armed helicopters. The advantage is that two people can share certain instruments and equipment, reducing duplication, thereby simplifying the operation of instruments, allowing the pilot to concentrate on tracking the target, minimizing the time to make decisions, and facilitating the coordination of the helicopter and the use of weapons.
It is worth mentioning that the helicopter can launch missiles without changing its speed and flight altitude. Therefore, it can perform the task of hitting ground targets at ultra-low altitudes.
The gunship has multiple safety features, in addition to its strong bulletproof and anti-crash capabilities, the Ka-52 uses a rocket-parachute-ejection life-saving seat life-saving system. When in danger, the pilot must first blow up the top of the aircraft. The 6 blades of the two rotors, and the canopy are abandoned, and then the ejection is carried out. During the Russian-Ukrainian conflict at Antonov Airport, a Ka-52 was severely damaged after being hit by a Stinger anti-aircraft missile, but its pilot successfully ejected and fled before the helicopter crashed into the river.
In addition to the cockpit, the Ka-52 body uses a large number of composite materials, and its weight accounts for about 35% of the total weight of the aircraft. The composite material can absorb radar echoes, which can reduce the probability of being detected by the opponent’s radar. In addition, the damage absorb capacity of the Ka-52 is also good, which helps to reduce the damage caused by the ground fire. The outer layer of the fuel tank of the gunship is made up of composite material, and the inside is a honeycomb structure, which can be automatically sealed after being penetrated by a shell. As an all-weather, all-day combat helicopter, it is also equipped with related equipment for night combat and complex weather conditions.