Each of the two Mistral helicopter carriers will have the air grouping formed by 30 helicopters (Ка-52К and Ка-29). Such proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Defense by the Navy’s Supreme Command, Izvestiya reports.
It was planned earlier to deploy 16 helicopters on each carrier. «The proposal on air grouping for French-built helicopter carriers has been formed. It will be formed by 30 vehicles – Ka-29s and Ka-52Ks (roughly fifty-fifty). These will be ship- and land-based wings. Thus a reserve will be formed for quick replacement of the vehicles in case of a loss or a fault», — a representative of the Ministry of Defense said.
According to him, the formation of air grouping at the carriers will be situational depending on the assigned mission. «The helicopter carrier is intended for 16 helicopters, but their number will be changed depending on the assigned missions», — the representative of the Ministry of Defense noted.
The construction of first prototypes of ship-based Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter has already been started by Progress (Arsenyev, Primorski Krai). The first test vehicle should be ready by 2014. Ship-based Ka-52 must have a folding wings and main rotor blades, ballonets for ditching and anti-ship missiles. «The upgrading of 10 assault Ka-29 transport helicopters intended for Mistral helicopter carriers was started this year”, — a representative of Russian military-industrial sector said.
The serial production of ship-based Ка-29 was being carried out by Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (KumAPE) since 1979. The enterprise has manufactured a total of about 60 helicopters of the type; some of them were left in Ukraine after the collapse of USSR. Only single-piece production of the helicopter was being carried out since 1991. «Ka-29 is the ship-based helicopter and it does not require such an upgrade as Ka-52 does. It will be fitted with advanced weapons and electronic equipment. We must resume the production of these excellent helicopters», — the representative of Russian military-industrial sector underlined.