Profile
Kamov
Ka-50/52 'Hokum'
The Soviet requirement for an attack helicopter to replace the venerable Mi-24 pitted two formidable designs against each other: the Mi-28 and the Kamov Ka-50 'Hokum' which eventually prevailed. The Hokum is remarkable in being the first attack helicopter with coaxial counter-rotating propellers, ejection seats, and perhaps most revolutionary, a single-seat cockpit. It had originally been thought of as an anti-helicopter escort and although it retains air-to-air capability, it is a dedicated ground attack platform capable of carrying the latest in Russian anti-tank weapons. The fuselage is largely composed of composite materials and can withstand 20-mm cannon strikes while at the same time allowing for extreme maneuvers such as loops and rolls as well as the "funnel" in which it can maintain a concentrated point of fire while flying circles of varying altitude, elevation, and airspeed around the target. Due to post-Cold War era budget cuts, only a trickle of Ka-50s (in addition to the two-seat Ka-52) have entered service although some have already seen action in Chechnya.

First flown on 17 June 1982 from the V-80 prototype, the Ka-50A 'Hokum-A' was selected over the rival Mi-28 as the USSR's future attack helicopter mostly on account of its day and night all-weather capabilites and the reduced requirements of a one-man crew. Avionics include a laser rangefinder, FLIR, and a helmet sighting system as well electronics optimized for the easing of the pilot's workload. A specialized night attack variant is known as the Ka-50N 'Hokum-N' while a side-by-side two-seat cockpit development is known as the Ka-52 'Hokum B' which otherwise shares the same airframe and avionics and is optimized for both ground attack and especially, anti-helicopter roles.

Ka-50/52 'Hokum'
Datafile
DesignKa-50A
Code NameHokum-A
TypeClose Support
Year1995
Crew1
Dimensions
Length16.00 m
Height5.40 m
Rotor Diameter14.50 m
Rotor Disc Area330.3 m²
Wing Span14.50 m
Wing Area330.3 m²
Weight
Empty1,692 kg
Maximum10,800 kg
Wing Loading32.7 kg/m²
Performance
Speed340 km/h
Ceiling5,500 m
Range460 km
Powerplant
Engine2 x TV3-117VK
Isotov
1,641 kW
Thrust/Weight2.36
Armament
Guns1 x 30-mm
Payload2,500 kg
Hardpoints4
AA WeaponsR-73
AS WeaponsAT-9
AT-16
Kh-25
S-8/13
Production
Built30
Total36
Gallery