Alligator hits the skies

There is no shortage of helicopters on display – both static and flying – at the Paris airshow so it takes something quite remarkable to stand out from the crowd.

There is no shortage of helicopters on display – both static and flying – at the Paris airshow so it takes something quite remarkable to stand out from the crowd. But stand out the latest Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopter from Russian Helicopters did.

The helicopter made its international debut on the first day of Le Bourget with a spectacular program full of aerobatic manoeuvres in front of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The Alligator is an all-weather, day-night combat helicopter. It is designed to destroy armoured and unarmoured ground targets, low-speed aerial targets and enemy front-line and tactical reserve troops, and to undertake reconnaissance missions and co-ordination of groups of military helicopters. It is equipped with stealth technologies and active IR and electronic jammers.

It features a twin-seat cockpit and can be controlled by either pilot. Its coaxial rotors provide advanced flight abilities and allow it to manoeuvre rapidly in tight airspace to secure a favourable attacking position.

Two VK-2500 gas turbine engines enable the helicopter to fly above 5,000 metres. It has a static ceiling of 4,000 metres, and can take off and land in hot environments and high altitudes.

The avionics include the Crossbow radar system that can overcome military challenges at any time of day or night and in any weather conditions, including deliberate or natural radio electronic interference.

The Ka-52 is equipped with powerful offensive weapons that can be configured for different military missions. The rapid-fire unit NPPU-80 with 2A42 30mm guns is located on the helicopter's starboard. The large number of weapon options is supported by six mounting points for aircraft guns, missiles and rockets and various aerial bombs, as well as additional fuel tanks. The total weight of the payload is 2,000kg.

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