Skip to comments.Kamov vs. Mil: prospects for Russian chopper fleet
Posted on 04/27/2012 10:13:20 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Kamov vs. Mil: prospects for Russian chopper fleet
By the end of this year, Russias Far East air base of Chernigovka will be fully reequipped with new Mi-8AMTSh and Ka-52 attack choppers that will replace the obsolete Mi-8s and Mi-24s. Designed as a special forces' support helicopter, the Ka-52 is gradually growing to become the armys main attack gunship.
Plans to launch Ka-52 batch production were announced as early as in 2006. Under the modernization initiative, Ka-52s were to make up only a small portion of the 300 attack helicopters just several squadrons of 70 to 80 choppers while the Mi-28N was to act as the air forces workhorse.
This situation has changed. Russias air forces and naval aviation units have already received the first batch of 80 to 90 attack helicopters out of some 400 choppers that are to join the nations air fleet by 2020, with some 100 Mi-28Hs, about 50 Mi-35s (the latest version of the Mi-24) and 140 Ka-52s still pending. Considering that the navy aviation is also to be outfitted with some 80 Ka-52 helicopters, the number of these choppers, which are slated to enter the Russian military fleet, can exceed 200 units, putting the Ka-52 on par with the Mi-28.
The Russian army has been on the quest to build its main gunship since the Soviet times (when it didnt yet merge with the air forces), long before either Mi-28 or Ka-50 tried their wings in 1982. Both design bureaus presented plausible arguments to tip the scales toward their jet. At the end of the 1980s, the Kamov bureau finally emerged as the winner only to see military modernization stalled after the Soviet collapse. Just a few years before the countrys break-up, the rival Mil design bureau showed off its advanced Mi-28A version with a better sighting and navigation system and started developing its new Mi-28N all-weather attack helicopter that exceeded the original Kamov aircraft in its equipment capabilities.
In its turn, the Kamov design bureau, whose one-seat Ka-50 chopper critics slammed it for being too small for the pilot to simultaneously navigate and operate its weapons, came up with a two-seat variant, the Ka-52, which entered the 2006-2015 State Arms Program and later made it into its 2011-2020 edition.
Many military mavens believe that, having opted for both Ka-52 and Mi-28, the modern Russia has repeated the mistake the Soviet defense ministry made when it ordered the production of several different kinds of weapons aimed at fulfilling one and the same task. Still, there are quite a few arguments to justify this choice.
First and foremost, the Ka-52 and Mi-28 have a different range of capabilities. The Ka-52 has shown good performance in the mountainous terrain and at sea, making it a perfect onboard aircraft for Mistral warships, whereas the Mi-28N with its thicker armor and a top-mounted radar station is better suited for the European Theatre of Operations and its advanced anti-missile shield.
Despite all their external distinctions, the two helicopters have quite a lot in common, starting from their power plants and armament, which simplifies their simultaneous maintenance.
Russias current political and economic situation is also playing in the hand of the Ka-52, keeping afloat its producer, the Arsenyevsk Helicopter Plant, which is one of the few high-tech enterprises of Russias Primorye region.
In fact, Russias arms production remains its only industry that has a competitive advantage at the international level and has virtually set the benchmark for the rest of the world. Both the Ka-52 and Mi-28 are considered some of the best choppers worldwide, so it was only natural to seek for a compromise between the two of them.
The need to reequip the Russian military has become increasingly urgent after the 20 post-Soviet years effectively undermined the nations military capability. Today, neither the Rostvertol helicopter plant, the Mi-28 producer, nor the Ka-52 manufacturer, Progress, has enough production capacities to build large numbers of high-quality choppers. In this situation, putting all eggs in one basket could postpone the aviation revamp again.
"In a private conversation about the planned U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe, President Barack Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for space on the issue.
This is my last election, Obama told Medvedev. After my election I have more flexibility.
I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, Medvedev said, referring to incoming President Vladimir Putin."
Obama was talking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev when neither of them realized that their conversation was being picked up by microphones. Here is what they said:
Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but its important for him to give me space.
Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you ...
Obama: This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.
Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility. That statement tells us much about the presidents mindset.
The specific mention of missile defense is worrisome enough. Mr. Obama has retreated from the missile defense plan that was negotiated with European allies during the George W. Bush administration. Apparently, he is signaling Moscow that he intends to retreat further. The clear implication from the presidents comments is that he cannot tell the American people before the election what he plans to do after the election.
In addition, there is the phrase on all these issues, implying more is at stake than just missile defense.
Article: Obama plans double cross on missile defense
When it comes to keeping America safe, we shouldnt be too flexible:
We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world, Chavez told reporters during a visit to Communist China, one of many. His new world order includes [RUSSIA], China, Iran,... and a significantly weakened United States, he explained.
Resurgent Communism in Latin America
by Alex Newman, March 16, 2010:
From the Russian News and Information Agency:
July 27, 2006
"'I am determined to expand relations with Russia,' Chavez, known as an outspoken critic of what he calls the United States' unilateralism, told the Russian leader, adding that his determination stemmed from their shared vision of the global order.":
From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."
"Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."
Russia's Medvedev hails "comrade" Obama
Associated Foreign Press (AFP) ^ | April 2, 2009 | Anna Smolchenko
"Russia's Dmitry Medvedev hailed Barack Obama as "my new comrade" Thursday after their first face-to-face talks"
April 1, 2009:
"Obama, Medvedev pledge new era of relations":
President Obama and Venezuela dictator Hugo
Chavez at the 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad.
Note the "soul bro" handshake. (my caption)
Obama, Chavez shake hands at Americas Summit:
From CBS-News, July 29, 2006:
Chavez Vows To 'Stand By Iran'
After Oil Talks In Tehran, Venezuelan Leader Called 'Brother' By Ahmedinejad
"Chavez pledged that his country would 'stay by Iran at any time and under any condition,' state television reported. Ahmadinejad said he saw in Chavez a kindred spirit." "'We do not have any limitation in cooperation,' Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying. 'Iran and Venezuela are next to each other and supporters of each other. Chavez is a source of a progressive and revolutionary current in South America and his stance in restricting imperialism is tangible.'":
What a bunch of Hokum.
I wonder if, as in Western helicopters, if the pilot sits on the right?