Several of the world’s most advanced ship-borne helicopters, including the Ka-52K, the Ka-31R and the Ka-226T, will enter service with the Russian Navy by 2025, according to the country’s Defense Ministry.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier this week that heavily-modified versions of several ship-based helicopters are due to be put into service with the Russian Navy by 2025.These include the Ka-52K Katran reconnaissance and combat helicopter, the Ka-31R airborne early warning helicopter and the Ka-226T multi-role helicopter, which is capable of being deployed on smaller ships.
In an interview with Sputnik, Viktor Pryadka, a Russian military expert who is director general of the Avintel Aviation Technology Alliance, said that the helicopters will be deployed to the newest frigates, corvettes and patrol ships due to be delivered to the Russian Navy.
He explained that the need for the sophisticated shipborne helicopters arose due to changes in Russia’s fleet, and specified a need for combat, airborne early warning and anti-submarine vessels.
“The deployment of helicopters can increase the pilot’s range of detection and ability to counteract against various types of enemy weapons. The three modifications [of the helicopters] are just needed in order to detect, control and destroy these types of weapons,” Pryadka said.
According to him, the new helicopters are currently in the process of being supplied to the Russian Navy.
“Actually, the helicopters are already being mass produced and delivery [to the Russian Navy] has most probably started,” Pryadka said, adding that the assembly line already exists and is debugged in previous modifications.
He also said that the Syrian experience was taken into account during the production of the helicopters.
“In Syria, it was possible for several months to drill both aircraft’s and helicopters’ carrier-borne combat missions. This practical combat experience will add to building helicopters with the necessary modifications and performance characteristics,” Pryadka concluded.
Last month, the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that Russia successfully tested its latest Ka-52K Katran reconnaissance and combat helicopter during the recent Mediterranean cruise by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
The Admiral Kuznetsov’s Captain, Sergey Artamonov, heaped praise on the Ka-52K, calling it “the best of its kind around.”
“The test flights we conducted during the cruise showed that this helicopter has great potential as a weapon and as a major element of our naval airpower,” Artamonov said in a documentary aired by Russia’s Rossiya-24 news network.
The Ka-52K’s firepower is notably greater compared than that of its land-based counterpart.It can be armed with torpedoes, depth charges and even heavy missiles capable of sinking an enemy warship. The helicopter is equipped with a laser beam guidance system and Okhotnik video processing system.
The helicopter can be further upgraded to carry Kh1AD and Kh35 anti-ship missiles, which are currently used by Su-30, Su-35 and MiG-29K warplanes and are able to inflict serious damage, even to aircraft carriers.