China purchased 36 Ka-52K attack helicopters from Russia to equip new amphibious assault ships. The military analysts believe that this is a big deal, which means that the two sides strengthen defence cooperation against the United States.
According to the Hong Kong South China Morning Post (SCMP) on September 21, Zhou Chenming, a researcher at the Beijing Perspective Military Science Advisory Center, said that the Type amphibious assault ship 075 requires a heavy attack helicopter, and the PLA has long studied the possibility of purchasing the Ka-52K from Russia.
Russian news agency Avia. Pro reports that the PLA is very interested in the Ka-52K, and a Chinese delegation also visited the production line in Primorsky Krai, Russia’s the Far East. SCMP believes that Moscow and Beijing are likely to sign a contract to sell at least 36 Ka-52Ks to the PLA Navy.
China’s state broadcaster CCTV earlier reported that a team of its reporters had been invited to tour the factory. Ka-52K “Black Shark” attack helicopter, designed by the Kamov Design Bureau for the Russian Navy. It is the ship-based version of the Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter, equipped with a modern avionics system for navigation.
Chu Than Minh said, Ka-52K is the first ship-based attack helicopter of the Russian Navy, it has foldable propellers and increased take-off weight, which can save space, meet the needs of the PLA’s Type 075 amphibious assault ship.
Meanwhile, Chinese news site Zhihu said that China’s purchase of Ka-52K attack helicopters has officially been carried out. On September 17, a reporter from Phoenix TV quoted the Russian news portal Avia. pro as saying that China had officially signed a contract with Russia to buy 36 Ka-52K heavy-armed helicopters within a period. took place “International ArmyGame-2021” in Russia. So what did this news reveal?
First of all, the purchase of the Ka-52K means that Type 075 finally has an accompanying aircraft. Despite being the world’s second-largest amphibious assault ship, the Type 075’s aircraft from the time it was built, tested at sea, served to daily training, is still a traditional transport helicopter. , lack of armed helicopters to provide fire support during the landing.
Although China already has two types of armed helicopters Z-10 and Z-19, on the one hand, these two armed helicopters must be prioritized for the Army and Air Force first, and finally the Navy. Considering the general situation and production capacity of Changfei Aviation Industry Group (Change), it may take several years for the Navy to get its Z-10 or Z-19 aircraft, and the Navy actually cannot wait. Second, the tonnage of the Z-10 and Z-19 models is too small, to be honest, it is not suitable for use by amphibious ships. The purchase of Ka-52K armed helicopters not only fills the last shortage of aircraft on the Type 075 ship but also has the effect of accelerating the formation of Type 075’s combat power.
Third, the price China buys Ka-52K this time is very cheap. The unit price is only 20 million USD / unit, only 2 million USD more expensive than the model for the Russian military to use alone. To know how cheap Russia is selling to China, we can compare.
Last year, the Philippines proposed to buy 6 US AH-64E Apache armed helicopters with a unit price of 250 million USD each. India in 2015 purchased 22 AH-64E Apache armed helicopters from the US for a unit price of 150 million USD. 13 years ago, in 2008, the Taiwanese government purchased 30 American AH-64E Apaches for a unit price of $70 million.
According to Zhihu, it can be seen that the purchase price of China’s Ka-52K this time is only 1/12.5; 1/7.5 and 1/3.5 of the purchase price of Apache of the 3 countries above. This price is too cheap, although it is 2 million USD more expensive than the used Russian Ka-52 version, considering this price includes related accessories and technical support services, plus current USD is depreciating; It can be said that the price of 20 million USD was purchased at the internal selling price of the Russian military, which reflects the special relationship between China and Russia.
Alternatively, the transaction can be paid in Chinese Yuan (RMB). Russia is currently one of the most determined countries to de-dollarize in the world. China is strongly promoting the internationalization of the renminbi, now there are 10 countries including Russia that support the use of renminbi for payment. Therefore, the use of RMB for such large-scale payments is one of the very important reasons why China decided to buy Ka-52K.
Secondly, the performance of the Ka-52K itself is very good, and it is currently the most suitable heavy helicopter for the Type 075 ship.
In the field of heavily armed helicopters, Russia is more powerful than the US. Take for example the Ka-52K that China bought this time, which is the world’s first armed helicopter equipped with a combat-grade fire control radar. It is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar “V006 Rezets (Cutter)” developed by the Zaslon Design Bureau. This radar was publicly displayed at the Moscow Aerospace Show last year. This technology is derived from the active phased array radar Zhuk -AE used for the MiG-35 fighter.
In addition, the Ka-52K can also carry the versatile Hermes missile with a range of up to 100 km. Unlike the Kh-35U Uranus anti-ship missile, the Hermes is a hypersonic missile, so the attack efficiency is higher, the range is higher. wider use, with the Ka-52K being a perfect match, immediately enhancing the appeal of this aircraft.
Ka-52K has a huge advantage that other armed helicopters do not have, in addition to anti-aircraft missile countermeasures with infrared guidance, Ka-52K is also equipped with countermeasure systems. radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles that other armed helicopters do not have. As a result, it has stronger integrated survivability, more suitable for complex battlefield environments such as amphibious operations.
Some netizens may ask why choose Ka-52K instead of Mi-28? The reason is very simple, unlike the Army and Air Force, the Chinese Navy has no experience in using and maintaining Mi series helicopters. Instead, it has more than ten years of experience using and maintaining Kamov series helicopters. Therefore, the use of Ka-52K helicopters is not a problem, and combat effectiveness can be established in the shortest time. Of course, the Mi-28 doesn’t seem to have a dedicated flagship version to choose from.
The number of 36 Ka-52Ks completely coincides with the number of the first 3 Type 075 amphibious ships that have been completed. According to information from the Russian press, all 36 aircraft will be delivered within 2 years. Currently, the first Type 075 has been in operation for nearly half a year, the second is about to be put into service, and the third is about to be tested at sea. The first three will be commissioned in two years, which coincides with the delivery of 36 Ka-52Ks.
Some specifications of the Ka-52
Crew: 2 people (pilot and weapon operator)
Length: 16 m
The length of the fuselage: 14.2 m
Propellerspan: 2x 7.3 m
Height: 5 m
Maximum take-off weight: 12,200 kg
Fuel weight: 1,487 kg (can add 1,732 kg in 4 500 liter auxiliary fuel compartments)
Engine: 2 shaft turbine engines TB3-117 VK-2500 version manufactured by Klimov company
Top speed: 300 km/h
Fuel-saving flight speed: 260 km/h
Combat range: 460 km
Range: 1,160 km
Dynamic ceiling: 5,500 m
Static ceiling: 4,000 m
Weapon: 1 automatic machine gun 30mm Shipunov 2A42, 240 rounds of ammunition
6 weapon hangers with a total load of 2,000 kg
4 x 6 air-to-ground anti-tank missiles Vikhir-1 or Shturm-BU, laser positioning.
2 x 2 Igla-V. air-to-air navigation missiles
4 x 20 80mm S-8 unguided missiles or 4 x 5 130mm S-13 130mm. unguided missiles