Meanwhile, Kamov design bureau changes tack with Turkey's 80-helicopter requirement and offers customised Ka-50

Kamov is close to securing its first export customer for the Ka-52 Alligator two-seat reconnaissance and attack helicopter, with Yemen believed near to finalising a $150 million contract for 12 aircraft.

Confirming that a deal is being discussed with an undisclosed country, RSK MiG general director Vladimir Toryanin says a contract could be signed next month. Kamov is a member of the RSK MiG group of companies, which also received a 2003 contract to supply Yemen with six MiG-29SMT fighters. Payments for the Ka-52 purchase will be delayed until Russia completes deliveries of the fighters. Another 14 MiG-29s delivered in 2002-03 will be upgraded to the SMT standard from 2005.

The Ka-52 is a development of Kamov's single-seat Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopter. The Russian air force plans to buy 12 Ka-52s this year for command and control duties, but has yet to sign a production contract.

Kamov design bureau chief Vineamin Kasyannikov says a new offer is also being prepared following Turkey's decision to abandon a tender for 145 attack helicopters (Flight International, 25-31 May). The Ka-50-2 Erdogan promoted by Kamov/Israel Aircraft Industries was second choice to meet this requirement, behind the US Bell Helicopter AH-1Z King Cobra.

Kamov is believed to have dropped the Ka-50-2 from Turkey's 80 aircraft contest, in favour of promoting a customised variant of the Ka-50 without Israeli involvement.



Source: Flight International