Dubai Airshow 2021: Russian Helicopters to Demonstrate Record Numbers of Rotorcraft

Defence Industry

New Delhi: In a first, Russian Helicopters will demonstrate six full-scale samples of Russian rotorcraft at the Dubai Airshow 2021, to be presented on static display and in flight program of the airshow. The participants and guests will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the light multipurpose helicopters Ka-226T Climber and Ansat, attack helicopters Ka-52 and Mi-28NE, as well as multipurpose heavy Mi-171A2.

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The international premiere of the Mi-28NE attack helicopter will be one of the main novelties of the Dubai Airshow 2021. It will be for the first time that the “Night Hunter” modification will be demonstrated at foreign exhibitions. Another modern Russian attack helicopter Ka-52, which takes part in the Dubai Airshow for the first-time, will pair with it. At the exhibition, Mi-28NE and Ka-52 will demonstrate a rich flight program with elements of complex aerobatics used in real air combat manoeuvres. These new generation combat machines are designed to destroy tanks, armoured and unarmoured vehicles, manpower and enemy helicopters in all weather conditions at any time of the day.

Another debutant at the Dubai Airshow 2021 will be the modernized light helicopter Ka-226T Climber, which is also being demonstrated abroad for the first time. It premiered at the MAKS-2021 air show in Moscow. The upgraded Ka-226T, in comparison with the previous models, has improved flight and technical characteristics. Flight speed has been increased, unloaded weight reduced, and the range of operation increased. The Ka-226T Climber is distinguished by its low vibration level, ease and simplicity of operation, ability to take off and land on sites of minimum dimensions and high hover accuracy even when operating with a load on the external suspension. One of the Ka-226T Climber key features is its adaptability for high altitude flights.

The deeply modernized Ka-226T light helicopter, which is being developed by the Russian Helicopters (a part of Rostec State Corporation), began flight tests and completed its maiden flight at the flight-testing complex of the National Helicopter Centre “Mil and Kamov”. This is the first Russian helicopter, the design documentation of which was fully digitalized.

“The modernized Ka-226T is the first helicopter in Russia to be manufactured according to digital design documentation. This initiative made it possible to significantly reduce time for building the machine and to start flight tests in a short time. At the end of this week, the updated Ka-226T will debut at international exhibitions as part of Dubai Airshow 2021, and we are confident that it will arouse genuine interest among foreign customers due to its excellent flight performance, allowing it to operate at altitudes up to 6.5 kilometres, versatility, convenience and safety,” commented a representative of Rostec aviation cluster.

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The Ka-226T modernization project received operating name “Climber” – thanks to its key feature – adaptability to high altitude flights. Aircraft airframe features new design with significantly improved aerodynamics which distinguishes it from previous models of the Ka-226 family. The fuselage of improved aerodynamic shape is made using modern lightweight materials. Ka-226T has received a new rotor head, blades, and main gearbox, as well as a shockproof emergency-resistant fuel system, which meets increased safety requirements. The helicopter is also fitted with new pilot navigation and radio communication equipment. As an option, it can be fitted with oxygen equipment, ballonets, air conditioning and heating systems.

It may be noted that the Kamov-226T is one of two helicopters that is slated to meet the Indian military’s urgent need for 394 light helicopters. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has entered into a joint venture with Russian Helicopters to build 197 Kamov-226T helicopters in India. Separately, HAL intends to manufacture 187 LUH – which includes 126 for the army and 61 for the IAF. HAL’s LUH, however, boasts an equally impressive ability to climb to altitudes above 6 km, thanks to its Indo-French Shakti engine.

According to Russian Helicopters, the signature Kamov coaxial rotor design gives the Ka-226T good controllability in thin air, resistance to strong side winds, a high rate of climb and the ability to take off and land on sites located at high altitudes. The helicopter is claimed to be highly effective when flying over water surfaces. It can take off and land on the deck of even small marine vessels, says Russian Helicopters.

“The aircraft is characterized by low vibration level, ease and simplicity of operation, ability to take off and land on minimum size grounds (including urban infrastructure), high accuracy of hovering even when working with cargo on the external sling, and safe passenger boarding with working rotors,” said a Russian Helicopters media release. Commercial manufacture of the upgraded Ka-226T helicopter is scheduled to begin in 2022 at the Ulan-Ude aviation plant.