Russia's Air Force refuses from purchasing Kamov Ka-50 "Black Shark" attack helicopter in favor of Ka-52 "Alligator". The primary disadvantage of the Ka-50 is the fact that it is a single-seat chopper: one pilot cannot control the helicopter in the air and perform combat tasks at the same time.
Officials with Russia's Air Force said that the state defense program before 2020 does not stipulate any purchases of the Ka-50 helicopter, The Izvestia newspaper wrote. The two-seat variant of the chopper, the Ka-52, is much more appropriate for combat action. Each pilot has a control lever and pedals. If one pilot is wounded or killed, the other one will be able to guide the aircraft.
Another advantage of the Ka-52 is the fact that it can be used as a commander helicopter. The first batch of "Alligators" entered service of the Russian Air Force in February of this year. The Russian army has already ordered over 100 "Alligators."
The new Ka-52 was developed in the beginning of the 1990s. The tests for the aircraft were conducted in 1997. Experts recognized the Ka-52 one of the most advanced helicopters in the world. The "Alligator" surpasses the renowned US AH-64 Apache on certain parameters. The Russian helicopter will be deployed on Mistral vessels, which Russia is purchasing from France.
The "Alligator" is armed with 12 supersonic antitank guided missiles, 80 free 80mm aviation rockets, air-to-air rockets and a 30-mm 2A42 gun. Another novelty of the chopper is the on-board electronic equipment. The equipment allows pilots to perform several actions at once: to attack the enemy, communicate with headquarters and control the actions of other combat helicopters.
The Ka-52 is also outfitted with the unique crew rescue system. The system allows the pilots to stay alive even if the chopper has been downed at low altitudes. The ejection system catapults the pilots at the height which is appropriate for parachuting.