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Russia’s upgraded Ka-52M combat helicopter makes debut flight

The vehicle incorporates the best technical solutions earlier tested on helicopters, the Industry and Trade Ministry said

MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Russia’s upgraded Kamov Ka-52M combat helicopter made its debut flight, the Industry and Trade Ministry reported on Monday.

"The latest upgraded Ka-52 helicopter made its debut flight at the Progress Aircraft Company of Russian Helicopters Group (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec). This vehicle incorporates the best technical solutions earlier tested on helicopters produced both under the defense procurement plan and for exports," the ministry said.

The new Ka-52M helicopter features an upgraded longer-range opto-electronic target detection and identification system, a new digital drive that will help increase the aiming accuracy of the air gun. The upgraded helicopter also carries an active phased array radar and a longer-range missile, the Industry and Trade Ministry and Russian Helicopters Group said in their statements.

The upgraded helicopter can operate in any temperatures, including in Arctic conditions. Its running gear is outfitted with wheels with a higher load-bearing capacity and wear resistance and the LED-based lighting equipment while the pilots’ cabin features a new interior.

"The production’s large-scale modernization and retooling under the federal target program helped considerably expand the technical possibilities of the Progress Arsenyev Aircraft Company and switch to the output of improved and more reliable combat hardware - upgraded Ka-52 helicopters for the Russian Armed Forces," Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said.

Russian Helicopters Group CEO Andrei Boginsky said that the helicopter manufacturer had started the experimental design work on the Ka-52’s upgrade on order from Russia’s defense minister last year, taking into account its combat employment.

"The Ka-52M’s missile armament has been standardized with the armament of another latest Mi-28NM helicopter, which has made it possible to considerably increase the range of striking targets," the chief executive said.

The flight tests of the Ka-52M will be carried out by specialists of the helicopter’s developer (the Mil and Kamov National Helicopter-Building Center). Some stages of the trials will run on the territory of the helicopter producer, following which the gunship will be delivered to the customer. Upon the completion of preliminary delivery trials, state joint trials will begin.