Official confirmation has finally emerged from Russia regarding Egypt’s order for Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters for its Mistral class helicopter carriers. 46 of the naval variants will be delivered to Egypt.
“We have managed to keep up the financial parameters reached previously and to broaden the presence of Russian helicopter technologies in the world market. In the outgoing year, new contracts were signed with Russian and foreign helicopter users,” Russian Helicopters Director-General Alexander Mikheyev said in a statement published on 30 December.
“For instance, a large agreement for delivery of 46 Ka-52 Alligator helicopters has been signed with Egypt through state-owned weapons trading company Rosoboronexport,” Mikheyev said.
He said a major sale of Kamov naval helicopters were part of the deals that Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport had inked in 2015. Deliveries to Egypt are expected to conclude by 2017.
The Ka-52 Alligator is a development of the Ka-50 Black Shark, featuring two crew side-by-side in a new nose housing additional avionics. The Ka-52 is in service with the Russian Air Force, which has ordered 146 Ka-52s while Russian naval aviation will receive 32 navalised Ka-52Ks. Production began in 2008.
The helicopter is fitted with four underwing hardpoints capable of carrying 80/120 mm air-to-surface rockets, 9A4172 Vikhr-M (AT-12) laser-guided air-to-surface missiles, Igla or R-73 (AA-11 ‘Archer’) air-to-air missiles, Kh-25MP (AS-12 ‘Kegler’) anti-radiation missiles and FAB-500 bombs. Fixed armament comprises a 30 mm 2A42 gun with up to 240 rounds of ammunition.
Egypt agreed to buy the two Mistral class helicopter carriers from France after the 1.2 billion euro contract was terminated with Russia following Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. The contract with Egypt was signed in early October. Each vessel can carry up to 16 helicopters and 1 000 troops. It is believed that Saudi Arabia is financing the Mistral deal.