The development of the new Ka-52 Alligator combat helicopter has not been funded by the state in the past two years, Sergey Mikheyev, director-general of the Kamov company, told a news conference at the State Duma, devoted to opening the Russia’s Arms show.
“The new Ka-52 combat helicopter boasts a great service life and unique flight characteristics, but its development has not been funded recently. Last year, only R8m (275,197 dollars) were earmarked for the Ka-52 development programme, which is ridiculous,” Mikheyev said. He noted that the new helicopter was ideal for conducting operations in the alpine terrain, which it had recently proved in the course of an exercise. Nevertheless, the development of the helicopter has not be funded for almost two years. “Five helicopters are at the mass-production plant, but their assembly has not been financed for several years,” Mikheyev said.
He noted that given available assets, special attention should be paid to projects nearing completion. The new Ka-50 Hokum combat helicopter is undoubtedly among such projects. “Having undergone comprehensive state tests, the helicopter has been manufactured, and operated in manoeuvre units, but at the present time the project has not been financed either,” Mikheyev said.
According to him, in the past decade the state defence order funding amounted to only 10-15 per cent of the required level.
He noted that the Kamov company had recently launched two new helicopters into production. One of them, namely the Ka-31 early-warning helicopter, is being delivered to India, while the Russian armed forces have not procured the aircraft yet. The Ka-226 is the second helicopter to be launched into mass production, funded by [the company’s] own assets.
“The existing situation needs consolidating resources. We expect the Ka-52 funding to improve next year. We also hope that we will finally be able to launch new helicopters into mass production,” Mikheyev said.