The first serial ship-based Ka-52K helicopters intended for Mistral helicopter carriers will be built in 2013. Their production has already been started by Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, RIA Novosti reports with reference to General Designer of Kamov Design Bureau, Hero of Russia, Sergey Mikheev.
"The first serial Ka-52K helicopters will be manufactured in 2013. By the time the first Mistral enters service in 2014, we are ready to make as many helicopters as the Defense Ministry will order", - Mikheev said. He reminded that 16 helicopters may be deployed at one ship.
According to him, the ship-based Ka-52K is much like serial Ka-52 except for some features required for maritime missions. "This refers to ventilation, pilot’s suits and some special-purpose instruments. One of the key features is folding main rotor blades", - Mikheev said. He also noted that the designers are doing their best to expand the serial production.
The General Designer also said that Ка-29/31, which will also be deployed at Mistrals, does not require any upgrade or modification. It is the serial ship-based helicopter of Russian navy. "Ка-29 has suitable dimensions for using a hoist after landing", - Mikheev said.
The first two French-built Vladivostok and Sevastopol Mistral-class ships will be delivered to the Navy Pacific Fleet RF in 2014-2015. The ships are being constructed by DCNS and STX dockyards in Saint-Nazaire.
The universal Mistral helicopter carrier with a displacement of 21 thousand tons and maximum length of 210 meters has the maximum speed of 18 knots. The operational range is 20 000 miles. The crew consists of 160 people. The air group includes 16 helicopters; six of them may be deployed at the deck simultaneously.