Ka-52K Testing to Finish in 2019

Russia will complete tests of the Ka-52K naval helicopter before the start of 2020.

In a statement to Tass News Agency on July 6, 2017, manufacturer Russian Helicopters confirmed that testing of the Ka-52K would be finished before the end of 2019, with serial production beginning thereafter.

Russian Helicopters said, “The helicopter trials are planned to be completed before the end of 2019. So, the deliveries to the Defense Ministry will start right after the trials.”

The first phase of testing concluded in May, having begun in late 2016.

Russian Helicopters Director General Andrey Boginsky previously stated the firm expected to sign an order with the Russian Defense Ministry on the delivery of Ka-52Ks in 2019.

Once the helicopter is operational, Russia aims to equip its warships with it. The new Priboy and Lavina projects, Russian-made helicopter carrier vessels, include plans for Ka-52Ks. The maritime helicopter is designed with shorter folding wings to allow for use onboard a vessel.

In addition to the Russian Navy, another client may be Egypt. Cairo has already purchased 46 Ka-52s, and is in negotiations now for the naval variant.

Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev told Sputnik on July 5, 2017 that Russia will reach two contracts with Egypt regarding procurement of Ka-52Ks.

Alongside an order for the helicopters, “We must understand that the ships need to be additionally equipped with systems to operate the Russian helicopters. This will be a separate contract,” Mikheev said, referring to the Mistral helicopter carriers that Egypt purchased from France in 2015.

Those vessels, initially slated to be delivered to Russia before relations between Moscow and the West soured over Ukraine, were delivered to Egypt in 2016. Cairo has negotiated with Russia regarding onboard equipment for the vessels.

The conclusion of those Ka-52K contracts “depends on the source of funding,” Mikheev continued.

He added, “A loan is not discussed in negotiations with Egypt. We held preliminary consultations, determined the helicopter’s appearance, delivery times.”

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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