Last week, Russian Helicopters had announced that it Egypt will take delivery of its first 15 (of 46) Kamov Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ attack helicopters in 2017.
According to Russian News Agency TASS (citing Russia 24), Egypt will be receiving the Ka-52s in batches, with an initial three reported to have already been delivered. All 46 Ka-52s will be delivered by 2019.
The first Egyptian aircrew and technical specialists have also completed their respective training in Russia. They had arrived in June 2017 and had undergone a program – of two-and-a-half months – of learning the Ka-52’s ground support equipment and flight control systems (including tests at a firing range).
Egypt ordered the 46 Ka-52s in 2015 as part of a multi-billion-dollar defence deal with Russia, which also includes 50 Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2 multi-role fighters from United Aircraft Corporation.
Interestingly, while Egypt intends to ultimately acquire the naval variant Ka-52K ‘Katran’ for use aboard its two newly acquired Mistral landing platform docks (LPD), its current order contains only the standard Ka-52. The Ka-52s will serve alongside the AH-64D Apache Longbow.
On August 28, the Kamov Bureau’s Chief Designer Sergei Mikheyev told TASS that Egyptian personnel are in Russia for training on the Ka-52K ‘Katran’. Egyptian Ka-52K training will be completed in 2018. Rostec is in negotiations with Cairo for the sale of Ka-52K naval attack helicopters.
It is not known how many Ka-52Ks Egypt intends to procure. The Mistral LPD can carry up to 16 medium-to-heavy and attack helicopters in its hangars. However, this does not mean that Egypt will necessarily fit the LPD with solely Ka-52Ks, it may push for a mix of attack, utility and transport helicopters.
The Ka-52 Alligator is a heavyweight attack helicopter designed for anti-armour and close air support (CAS) operations. The twin-engine design is powered by two VK-2500 turboshaft engines (like the Mi-171 and Mi-28NE/UB), enabling to operate in many environments, including mountainous areas.
Its design carries several distinctive features, such as a coaxial rotor system (with two top rotor systems) with no tail rotors. Unlike other dedicated attack helicopters, Ka-52 aircrew sit side-by-side instead of in-tandem.