Russia resorts to cannibalizing its own fleet to maintain the Ka‑52 Alligator helicopter arsenal
Russia consistently cannibalizes its own equipment to maintain the Ka-52 helicopter fleet, according to the Military portal. We recall the capabilities of these military machines, assembled from different models by the aggressive army.
Prior to the end of the previous year, a photograph surfaced online, taken by Ukrainians and suggesting that Russia struggles to provide spare parts for some of their most relied upon helicopters – the Ka-52 Alligator. The Russian military had to resort to salvaging from their own fleet, taking parts from decommissioned helicopters for repair tasks.
The image of an abandoned airport helicopter wasn't the only evidence of the ongoing difficulties that Russia has been dealing with for months. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Moscow had previously sought assistance from Egypt, Pakistan, and Brazil to repurchase engines for helicopters they had sold earlier. The missing parts included components for various Russian helicopters, including the Ka-52.
Recently, another image surfaced online, highlighting the challenges faced by the world's second-largest army in maintaining a suitable number of the dwindling Ka-52 helicopters. The Military web portal drew attention to the mismatched colors of different parts of the Alligator shown in the pictures. This is particularly noticeable in the rear part of the machine (the rear rudder), as well as at the front, where the cabin cover originates from a different model.
As a reminder, the Ka-52 Alligator serves as the primary helicopter in the arsenal of the Russian Federation's armed forces. Despite the design having originated in the 1980s, production of the machine didn't commence until 2008. The Ka-52 is driven by two Klimov VK-2500 engines, each generating over 3220.5 hp, driving the structure to a top speed of 186.4 miles per hour.
The Alligator's relatively light weight of just under 8.8 tons, combined with its double rotor mechanism, provides high maneuverability. As a result, the Ka-52 represents a challenging target to neutralize. Moreover, the helicopter, known as the "fire chariot," poses a considerable threat to foes due to its powerful weaponry. This primarily includes AT-12 laser-guided missiles fitted with an I-251W sighting system and a Shipunov 2A42 30mm gun.