Ka-52 Alligator | The “flying arsenal” with ejection seats for pilots – Photos & VIDEO

Defence Redefined
Published on 28/11/2020 at 17:31

The Ka-52 Alligator is one of the best attack helicopters of the Russian Air Force and (recently) of Egypt, which is the first export customer of the helicopter in question. Manufactured by Kamov Design Bureau, the Ka-52 is the two-seater variant of the Ka-50 attack helicopter that entered service in 2011.

Alligator was designed to conduct combat reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and targeting. It can destroy enemy tanks, armored vehicles and various ground targets as well as aerial targets and personnel in all weather conditions and round the clock.

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The helicopter is 16 meters long, 4.9 meters high and the main rotor diameter is 14.5 meters. The maximum weight of the helicopter during takeoff is 10,800 kg and the maximum flight altitude is 5,500 m. The speed of the Ka-52 helicopter can reach 300 km / h powered by 2 VK-2500 engines of 2,400hp each and has a range of 460 km (with a cruising speed of 260 km and only with the internal fuel tanks).

The cockpit accommodates two crew members in a side-by-side arrangement and not tandem like most western attack helicopters. In addition, the cockpit is equipped with a head-up display (HUD) and four multifunction displays.

The helicopter has six external weapon stores which are mounted on the wings and can carry different combinations of weapon systems.

© Southfront

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VIKHR anti-tank missiles (ATGM), laser-guided ATAKA missiles, B8V-20 S8 80mm rocket launchers and Hermes-A missiles with a maximum range of 20 km and can be installed at these weapon stations. Ka-52s can also be armed with IGLA-S anti-aircraft missiles. Apart from that, the helicopter is armed with a Shipunov 30mm 2A42-1 cannon on its right side, capable of small directional movements.


The Ka-52 is equipped with state-of-the-art electronic equipment including the Phazotron FH-01E Millimeter Wave Radar (MMW) radar with two antennas for air and ground targets, satellite communications as well as inertial navigation system and IFF identification system.

A big advantage of the Ka-52 attack helicopter is its high survivability ensured by the helicopter’s countermeasures suite and the ejection system available for the 2 pilots. The pilot and co-pilot of the helicopter sit in ejection seats as in the Ka-50, the first helicopter in the world to have an emergency ejection system, while to this day Western attack or other types of helicopters do not have this feature. 

The Alligator countermeasures suite is highly sophisticated and consists of active and passive countermeasures. More specifically, the Ka-52 Alligator features President-S self-defence system consisting of a laser illumination detector, ultraviolet missile approach warning system, electro-optical electronic warfare system, decoy flares and control system.

To date, a Ka-52 helicopter has crashed on May 6, 2018 in an area near the city of Al Mayadin in eastern Syria. The helicopter crash, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, was attributed to technical error and not usage of a man-portable anti-aircraft missile (MANPADS) operated by ISIS fighters.  

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