Kamov Ka-50

From Academic Kids

The Ka-50 is a Russian single-seat military helicopter, designed as a gunship. It features the usual load of weapons in external hard-points, with the wing stores able to carry 2,300 kg. It has contra-rotating co-axial rotors which remove the need for a tail-rotor and apparently make the craft fully aerobatic.

Kamov KA-50 helicopter.
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Kamov KA-50 helicopter.

It was designed by the Kamov company starting in the 1980s and adopted for service in the Russian army in 1995. It is manufactured by the Progress company of Arseniev. Its NATO reporting name is Hokum A, and it is sometimes called the "Black Shark" or "Werewolf".

There is also a twin seat version designated Ka-52 or "Alligator" .

In January 2001, the Ka-50 saw its first combat operation, as it fired on rebel positions in Chechnya. Later, it would undertake several missions inside that war zone, although not as much as the more numerous Mi-24.

The Ka-50 was the first helicopter fitted with an ejector seat. Before the rocket in the K-37-800 ejector seat kicks in, the rotor blades are jettisoned.

In 1997, Israeli Air Industries (IAI) in cooperation with the Kamov bureau entered a Turkish design competition for a $4 billion contract for 145 combat helicopters. The helicopter that resulted was the Ka-50-2 Erdogan ("Born to be a Man"), a tandem cockpit twin-seater variant of the Ka-50 that featured modern "glass cockpit" avionics and a turret-mounted folding 30mm cannon as opposed to the fixed cannon of the Ka-50.

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