Kamov-52 “Alligator” in flight
Toothy predator with character
The modified Ка-50 “Black Shark” required a second crew member to operate the optronics/radar reconnaissance suite. Kamov decided to use side-by-side seating arrangement, due to the verified improvements in co-operation between the crew members. This twin-seat version was designated Ka-52.
In comparison to the original Ka-50, it has a “softer” nose profile and a radar system with two antennas—mast-mounted for aerial targets and nose-mounted for ground targets. Day-and-night TV/thermal sighting system in two spherical turrets (one over the cockpit and the second under the nose) are also fitted. The Ka-52 has the side-mounted cannon of the original Ka-50. It features six wing-mounted hardpoints compared to four on the Ka-50. To keep the weight and performance on par with that of the Ka-50, some sacrifices were made to the design; the amount of armour and the capacity of the cannon magazine/feed were reduced.
Manufacturing of the first Ka-52 airframe began in mid-1996.Series production was started in autumn 2008. Russia’s Air Force is to adopt 140 Ka-52S.