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Kamov KA-252TB / Ka-29 / Ka-33


The Ka-27 came in four versions, the Ka-27, 28, 29, and 32. The Ka-29 and Ka-29TB are assault transport helicopters.
In 1973 in response to a Navy requirement the OKB started the design and construction of a transport/attack derivative of the Ka-27 - the Ka-29 shipboard helicopter. Deputy Chief Designer S.N.Fomin was entrusted with heading the design effort. Leading designer G.M.Danilochkin became his assistant, while B.V.Barshevsky was appointed leading engineer of the test programme.

Ka-252TB prototype (also known as Izdelie D2B or Izdelie 502) first flew 28 July 1976 with test pilot Ye.I.Laryushin at the controls, possibly with a Ka-25 nose or original narrow Ka-27/Ka-32 nose. Production at Kumertau (KAPP) from 1984.

Powered by two Klimov TV3-117VMA turboshafts, each of 1,633kW, the engines are started by APU and fuel tanks are filled with reticulated polyurethane foam for fire suppression. The Ka-29 has a wider flight deck than the Ka-27 for a crew of two. Three flat-plate windscreen glazings instead of a two-piece curved transparency, and 350kg of armour ia around the cockpit and engines. The main cabin has a port-side door, aft of the landing gear, divided honzontally into upward- and downward-opening sections. The lower section forming steps when open. The cabin can hold up to 16 assault troops, four stretcher patients, seven seated casualties and medical attendant in ambulance role, and with internal or slung cargo provisions.

The basic airframe is of the Ka-27 with a broader flight deck, and E-801 or E-801M (export) Oko (eye) early warning radar system by Radio Engineering Institute, Nizhny Novgorod, including large rotating radar antenna (area 6.0sq.m). It stows flat against underfuselage and deploys downward, turning through 90 degrees into vertical plane before starting to rotate at 6 rpm.  The landing gear retracts upward to prevent interference, nosewheels into long fairings. Once the system has been switched on, the antenna extended and operation mode selected, data on air targets flying below the helicopter’s altitude are acquired, evaluated and transmitted automatically to command centre, requiring only two crew (pilot and navigator, latter monitoring - but not operating - the system) in the helicopter. The Ka-29 is fitted with a Kronshtadt Kabris GPS navigation and display system. Loiter speed is 100 to 120km/h at up to 3,500m; loiter duration 2h 30 min. Maximum surveillance radius is 100 to 150km for fighter-size targets, or 250km for surface vessels, with up to 20 targets tracked simultaneously. The antenna can be retracted manually or explosively jettisoned in the event of a forced landing.

Two large panniers were on the starboard side of cabin, fore and aft of the main landing gear on helicopter numbered 032 (forward panniers only on 031). The hatch window is deleted above the starboard rear pannier, and a new TA-8Ka APU positioned above the rear of the engine bay fairing, with slot-type air intake at the front of the housing, displacing the usual ESM and IR jamming pods, and gives the radar and antenna an independent power supply. Tyre size 620x180 on main wheels, 480x200 on nosewheels. Tailcone extended by fairing tor flight recorder; no armour, stores pylons or outriggers.

The Ka-29 armament in the Ka-29TB assault version comprised anti-tank guided missiles, gun pods, unguided rockets, free-fall bombs and submunitions dispensers. The transport version could accomodate 16 fully-armed troops or carry outsize loads weighing up to 4000kg on a sling and was armed with a rapid-firing 7.62-mm machine-gun.
Comparing the test results of the single-rotor Mi-24 and the co-axial Ka-29 equipped with the same models of sights, fixed gun armament and unguided rockets, weapon accuracy on the Ka-29 proved to be approximately twice as high. In 1987 G.M.Danilochkin was awarded the State Prize for his role in the development of the Ka-29's weapons system.

Armament was a four-barrel Gatling-type GShG-7.62 7.62mm machine gun, with 1,800 rounds, flexibly mounted behind down ward-articulated door on starboard side of nose; four pylons on outriggers, for two four-round packs of 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 'Spiral') ASMs and two UV-32-57 57 or B-8V20 80mm rocket pods. Alternative loads include four rocket packs, two pods each containing a 23mm gun and 250 rounds, or twn ZAB 500 incendiary bombs. Internal weapons bay for torpedo or bombs. Provision fur 30mm Type 2A42 gun above port outrigger, with 250-round ammunition feed from cabin.

The State acceptance trials were completed in May 1979 and production began in 1984.
The Ka-29 entered service with the Northern and Pacific Fleets in 1985 and were photographed on board the assault ship Ivan Rogov in the Mediterranean in 1987. At the time they were thought to be the Ka-27B and were given the NATO reporting name 'Helix-B'. Identified as the Ka-29 combat transport at Frunze (Khodinka) Air Show, Moscow, August 1989.

The Ka-29TB ('Helix-B') armed derivative for day/night, VFR and IFR, transport and close support of seaborne assault troops has in-the-field conversion from one role to the other. With non-retractable landing gear and a 50cm wider armoured flight deck, the were reportedly used by the Experimental Combat Group in the Chechen War in 1996.
The Ka-33 is a civilianised version of Ka-29TB shipborne assault transport. The designation was revealed at the Moscow Air Show in August 1997.

The Ka-29RLD radar picket helicopter was developed as the Ka-31.

A total of 59 Ka-29s were built, for Russian Federation Naval Aviation (about 45) and Ukrainian Navy (about 12).

Engine: 2 x Klimov TV3-117V.
Instant pwr: 1642 kW.
Rotor dia: 15.9 m.
Length: 11.6m
Height: 5.40m
Empty weight: 5520kg
MTOW: 11,500 kg.
Payload: 2000 kg (external payload 4000 kg).
Max speed: 151 kt / 250km/h
Max cruise: 127 kts.
Range with 2000kg payload: 460km
Range with max fuel: 740km
HOGE: 12,131 ft.
Service ceiling: 14,098 ft / 5000m
Crew: 2
Pax: 16





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