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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters

KA-50 Black Shark

The KA-50 Black Shark (refered to by NATO as 'Hokum') is a sophisticated Russian-built attack helicopter that is in service in small numbers (8 actively deployed) with the Russian army.
The KA-50 is unusual for an attack helicopter in that it is crewed by a single pilot/gunner, making it a very demanding aircraft to fly and fight in. A two-seater version, the KA-52, has also been developed.

Whilst the MI-28N Havoc will be Russia's primary gunship, the KA-50 will carry out the role of Special Forces support.

  • contra-rotating co-axial rotors
  • zero-zero ejection seat
  • jam-proof laser designator for the Vikhr missiles
  • fire-control system shares target data with other KA-50s on the battlefield as well as compatible ground units
  • flare launchers for protection against IR-homing missiles
  • computer-assisted flight & navigation management system eases pilot workload

The Black Shark is designed to survive on the battlefield. The pilot is encased in armor designed to resist armor-penetrating rounds up to 12.7mm. The KA-50's rotors can take repeated hits from small arms fire. If the armor fails, a rocket-powered ejection system is installed for the pilot's emergency use.

The KA-50's double-stacked main rotor design eliminates the need for a tail rotor which makes the helicopter highly maneuverable at high speeds.

Armaments are fitted to hardpoints on two wings / pylons tipped with countermeasure pods. Up to 12 supersonic laser-guided vikhr anti-tank missiles can be carried, each with a range of 8km. A range of unguided rocket pods, mines and bomblets can also be fitted. The KA-50 carried a 30mm cannon beneath its nose. Firing either armor-piercing or explosive incendiary rounds, the 2A42 cannon can make short work of both armored and soft targets. Due to its contr-rotating stacked rotors, the KA-50 can point the weapon systems towards a target area whilst the helicopter continues moving along another axis. For this reason, the Black Shark's 30mm cannon only has a limited field of fire, unlike the turret-mounted guns on most other gunships.

The KA-50 has seen action against guerilla's in Chechnya,

KA-50 Attack Helicopter Specifications

ka-50 loadoutka-50 weapons
The KA-50 carries a wide range of ordinance into combat
Crew 1 Pilot / Gunner
Engines 2 x 2,200 Horse Power TV3-117VMA
Dimensions L - 15.9 m
W (wing span) - 7.3 m
H - 4.9 m
Weights 7,692 kg (empty)
10,800 kg (max loudout)
Max Speed 310 km/h
Range 460 km
Armament 2A42 30mm Cannon (460 rounds of high-fragmentation and explosive incendiary)
12 x Vikhr supersonic laser-guided anti-tank missiles
AA missiles
unguided rockets
Avionics inertial navigation system (INS)
head-up display (HUD)
FLIR (forward-looking infrared)
terrain-following radar
RWS (radar warning system)
chaff /flare dispensors
electronic jamming systems

ka-50 black shark
KA-50 Blackshark - the stacked rotor design eliminates the need for a tail rotor and allows the KA-50 to manouver at high speeds.
KA-50 Video

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