Algeria may be the first export country to adopt the Kamov Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter, Russian sources say. At the Paris Air Show, Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport confirmed it sold the attack helicopter to a foreign country. State company Russian Helicopters earlier stated is was to provide a Ka-52 for a demo in Algeria in mid 2015. The deal is said to involve 24 helicopters, but no official word is out yet.
The Ka-52 entered service with the Russian military in 2011, well over a decade since its first flight in June 1997. Serial production began in 2008. It’s two VK-2500 turboshaft engines allow the helicopter to operate at altitudes above 15,000 feet (5,000 meters). It has a static ceiling of 12,000 feet (4,000 meters), and is able to take off and land in hot climates and in high mountainous terrain.
The helo is in use in Russia for close air support. A navalized Ka-52K variant was destined to serve on the two Mistral amphibian assault vessels Russia was buying from France, but with the ships currently being held by Paris due to the deteriorating relationship between Russia and NATO the Russian Navy will have to find some other use for the 32 machines it ordered. Russian Helicopters is producing 146 Kamov-designed Alligators for the Russian Air Force, of which about half have been delivered.
Algeria has been buying Russian helicopters before. In March 2014 Algiers and Moscow confirmed the purchase of 42 new Mil Mi-28N (Havoc) attack helicopters, six new Mil Mi-26T2 (Halo) heavy-lift helicopters and the upgrading of 39 Algerian Armed Forces Mi-8s (Hip) to the Mi-8AMTSh standard.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A pair of Russian Kamom Ka-52 Alligators (Image © Russian Helicopters)