Russia denies selling Ka-52s to Egypt


Russian state arms export agency Rosoboronexport has denied that Egypt has ordered Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopters, days after the sale was first mentioned.

Anatoly Isaikin, director-general of Rosoboronexport told Russian news agency TASS on Friday that “there was nothing of the kind,” when asked about the deal for 50 of the helicopters. He was speaking to reporters at the MAKS 2015 international air show.

Isaikin said there was no Kamov deal, “at least at this exhibition”.

Last week a report by the Research and Production Corporation Precision Instrumentation Systems (JSC SPC CPR) company noted that 50 ECO-52 sensor turrets used aboard the Ka-52 would be delivered to Egypt between 2016 and 2019, indicating an order for up to 50 of the helicopters.

During the Paris Air Show in June, the head of Rosoboronexport’s delegation Sergei Kornev said that the Ka-52 had received its first foreign order but did not disclose who the customer was or how many aircraft were ordered.

Last week a “military-diplomatic source” told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that Egypt intends to buy Ka-52 Alligators but deliveries have not yet started. No further details were given.

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.

In November last year Egypt received ten AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the United States. The Egyptian Air Force ordered 12 Apaches in 2009 to augment the 35 that have been in service since 2003 with the Egyptian Air Force’s 550 Attack Helicopter Regiment. The status of the remaining two Apaches is not clear.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived on Tuesday in Russia for talks with his counterpart Vladimir Putin, with discussions on economic cooperation and conflict in the Middle East.