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New Russian ship for Ka-52 and Ka-27 helicopters

Construction of the "Priboj" will begin in May 2020

New Russian-made "Priboj" ("sea foam") helicopter carriers will begin to be built in Crimea from May 2020 and are expected to be completed by 2027. Based on "Mistral" ship technology and able to accommodate each 10 deck-based Ka-52, Ka-52K and Ka-27 helicopters will be manufactured using funds from the contract cancelled in 2015 with France. The agreement, signed in 2010, included economic, technological and training support and it was considered one of the largest arms sales by a country belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the Russian Federation, but it was terminated following the annexation of Crimea with Russia and the coup in Ukraine in 2014.

Preparations for the start of construction have already been begun in St. Petersburg at the Severnaja Verf shipyard.

But let's take a closer look at the helicopters that will be hosted by the ship:

Kamov Ka-50 (codename Nato "sentimental meatloaf" and also known as "black shark" in Russian), is a twin engine attack aircraft. It was developed in the 1980s, and entered service with the Russian Federation Army in 1995. It is currently produced by the Progress company at Arseniev. In the late nineties, Kamov and Israel Aircraft Industries jointly developed a two-seater derived version called Ka-50-2 Erdogan, with the aim of participating in the competition for the acquisition by Turkey of an attack model. The company also presented another two-seat variant called Ka-52 Alligator.

Ka-52 (codename Nato "Hokum-B" also known as "Alligator") is the version of the Ka-50 with two crewmen side by side, designed for all-weather use and with the cabin capable of protect pilots from weapons up to 23 mm in size. The Ka-52 shares 85% in common with the Ka-50. The need for the second man on board was dictated by the use of some helicopter functions: coordination between rotary-wing aircraft, distribution and search for targets, communications and coordination with ground troops.

Ka-27 (code-named Nato "Helix") is an antisubmarine and a twin engine anti-ship with three-blade counter-rotating rotors, designed by Okb in the early seventies. It is currently in service in Vietnam, South Korea and India.

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