THE RUSSIAN Government has released funding to re-start series production of the much-delayed Kamov Ka-50 Hokum attack helicopter.

Series production originally began in 1993 at the Progress plant in Arseneyv in the Russian Far East. Funding shortages, however, brought work on the helicopter to a halt.

Seven Hokums, in various stages of readiness, are at the Progress assembly workshop. Until 1989, the plant produced Mil Mi-24 Hinds.

Kamov is developing a two-seat version of the Ka-50, to counter competition from the Mil Mi-28 Havoc and doubts from the Russian Army about the ability of a single-seat helicopter to perform low-level attack missions.

According to one Progress representative, the international debut of a two-seat Hokum may occur at the 1996 Asian Aerospace show in Singapore.

Source: Flight International