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Kamov Ka-52 Alligator

NATO: Hokum-B


Kamov Ka-52 Alligator

Ka-52 attack helicopter in flight showing rotor setup.
Source: Unknown author - © Copyright lies with original owner

Attack helicopter
Entered service
In service
1982 - 2000's
Soviet Union - Kamov
Russia - Kamov
2010 - present
Russia - Progress aircraft plant
Number produced
Over 100 by 2019
Hokum-B (NATO reporting name)
Alligator (nickname)
Nile Crocodile (nickname for Egyptian service)
Katran (naval nickname)
Russian for "mud shark".
Notable users



The Ka-52 is a modern attack helicopter of Russian origin. The Ka-52 is a further development of the earlier single seat Ka-50 and serves as a heavily armed combat reconnaissance helicopter. The NATO reporting name for the twin seat Ka-52 is “Hokum-B”. Plans for the twin seat Ka-52 started in the early 1980’s. Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union the first airframe was produced in the mid 1990’s and the first Ka-52 entered service in 2011.


The Ka-52 uses two contra-rotating main rotor blades and no tail rotor. This setup is used on various helicopters designed by Kamov. Compared to the older single seat Ka-50 the fuselage is wider and the two pilots sit side by side. A rather unique setup, since most attack helicopters use a tandem layout.

Night operations

Night operations are a main focus area of the Ka-52. The nose houses a terrain following radar, a FLIR camera is mounted under the nose and the pilots have night vision helmets with built-in laser range finders. In the combat reconnaissance role the Ka-52 uses is optical suite for target acquisition and directing strikes from standoff range.


A single 30mm 2A42 dual feed autocannon is mounted on the right side of the fuselage. A total of 460 rounds of 30x165mm rounds are carried. Four hardpoints can be found on the stub wings. The outboard hardpoints can each be fitted with six modern Vikhr or Ataka anti-tank guided missiles. All hardpoints may carry a rocket pod with 20x S-8 or 5x S-13 aerial rocket, a fuel tank or a UPK-23 gun pod. Additionally, two Igla-V heat seeking air to air missiles can be fitted onto each wingtip.


Self-defense systems include large exhaust diffusers and wingtip mounted flare dispensers. The K-37 ejection seats are a unique feature for a combat helicopter. The twin engine setup, speed and maneuverability further increase survivability.


The two VK-2500 turboshafts produce 2.500 shp each. This results in a maximum airspeed of about 350 km/h, with a cruise speed of 260 km/h. Combat range is about 450 km.


The Ka-52 is in use with the Russian air force. The Ka-52K is a naval variant on order with Russian naval aviation for use on amphibious assault ships. Currently Egypt is the sole export user. Over 100 Ka-52 have been acquired to date, while production continues.


Ka-52 Alligator

Regular model.

Ka-52K Katran

Naval variant.



Armament options

30mm dual feed autocannon in NPPU-80 ventral mount. Up to 460 rounds of AP and HEI carried.
80mm S-8 aerial rocket in 20 round B-8V20A rocket pod.
S-13 aerial rocket
122mm S-13 aerial rocket in 5 round B-13L rocket pod.
9K121 Vikhr
Vikhr anti-tank missiles, six carried on UPP-800 rack on outboard hardpoints.
Ataka anti-tank missiles, six carried on outboard hardpoints.
Gun pod with twin barrel 23mm GSh-23L autocannon with 250 rounds of ammunition.
R-73 infrared guided air to air missile (NATO: AA-11 Archer). Single missile on APU-62-1M rail.
9K38 Igla-V
Igla-V infrared guided air to air missiles (NATO: SA-18 Grouse). Two missiles on wingtip mount.
Kh-25ML air to ground missile (NATO: AS-10 Karen). Single missile on APU-68-UM2 rail.
KMGU-2 dispenser for submunitions.