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Kamov Ka-52M helicopter contract to be awarded in 2020


The Russian Ministry of Defense will finalize a contract for an upgraded version of the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Hokum-B in NATO code) in 2020. Speaking to TASS Russian News Agency on December 4, 2019, Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky stated in regards to the upgraded Ka-52M, "There is a new development work on the further upgrade, and we started performing it from this year. We hope we will achieve contracting the next year. We will endeavor from our side to make it like with Mi-28, so that we reach a long-term contract with upgraded Ka-52."


Kamov Ka 52M helicopter contract to be awarded in 2020 1 Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (Picture source: Russian MoD)


Earlier in 2019, Russia's Ministry of Defense signed a long-term contract for the production of nearly 100 Mi-28NMs, which secures the production line for the next seven years. It was previously reported that Russia will purchase as many as 114 new Ka-52s.

Boginsky did not offer any further details on the Ka-52M, but a May 2019 press release from helicopter conglomerate Russian Helicopters quoted him as saying that upgrades to the helicopter would involve increasing "the range of detecting and identifying targets" as well as improving "the capabilities of employing weapons against both ground and air targets." Jane's Defence Weekly reported in October 2019 that the Ka-52Ms will receive an active electronically scanned array radar.

Many of the improvements stem from observations of the base model Ka-52's performance in the Russian military campaign in Syria. Russia intervened in 2015 to support the then-struggling Syrian Army as it grappled with multiple insurgencies on different fronts. Throughout the course of the conflict, Russia deployed a number of new systems in combat operations for the first time -- some of which had already joined service while others were sent to Syria as part of their development -- to enable the defense industry to fix issues with the hardware and respond to trends in modern warfare.

Besides improving the combat capabilities of the Ka-52, another goal of the Ka-52M modernization program is to deepen its commonality with the Mi-28 line of helicopters, which can make production and support services more efficient and less expensive. As part of that effort, Boginsky has previously stated that the Ka-52 may also receive a missile developed for use with the Mi-28NM.

In addition to the Ka-52M, Russia is also developing a naval version of the helicopter, called the Ka-52K, which is designed for use onboard warships. Four prototypes of the maritime variant have been built, Boginsky told Sputnik International in September.


Kamov Ka 52M helicopter contract to be awarded in 2020 2 Mil Mi-28NE displayed at Army 2019 near Kubinka (Picture source: Army Recognition)


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