Kamov's Ka-60 medium battlefield utility helicopter is to make its first flight this month, according to Sergey Mikheyev, Kamov general designer.

Both the Ka-60 and civil Ka-62 development and flight test programmes are being partly funded by the Russian ministries of defence and economy.

The Ka-60 has had a protracted development, plagued by Government funding problems. Development of the helicopter began in 1984, but delays set back the intended in-service date of 1994. Mikheyev says that the Russian army needs 300 Ka-60s urgently to replace the Mil Mi-8, which has more than twice the specific fuel consumption.

The market for the civil Ka-62, which can carry up to 16 passengers or 2,000kg (4,400lb) internally, is estimated to be more than 500 machines.

The Ka-60/62 is powered by two Rybinsk Motors RD-600V turboshafts rated at 970kW (1,300shp) each. Mikheyev claims that the Ka-60 can take off and continue flight with a single engine failure.

Rybinsk Motors general designer Alexander Novikov says that the firm has produced 24 RD-600s, which have logged about 5,000h in ground test rigs.

Series production of the Ka-60 is scheduled to begin within two years at the Arseneyev Progress plant in Sakhalinsk.

Source: Flight International