31 August 2015

United States Deploy F-22 Raptor to Europe

The United States deploy F-22 fighter jets to Europe as part of a broader effort to support eastern European members of the NATO alliance unnerved by Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said on Monday.

Four US Air Force F-22 Raptors touched down in Germany on Friday, marking the start of the fighter jet’s first-ever training deployment to Europe.
Four F-22s and 60 airmen from the 95th Fighter Squadron arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, on Friday, according to an Aug. 28 statement. One C-17 Globemaster III from the 60th Airlift Wing touched down along with the jets.
The aircraft and airmen will train with allied and US forces through mid-September, according to the statement.
“This inaugural Raptor training deployment is the perfect opportunity for these advanced aircraft to train alongside other U.S. Air Force aircraft, joint partners, and NATO allies,” Gen. Frank Gorenc, US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, said in the statement.
The training is designed to prove that fifth-generation fighter jets can successfully deploy to European bases and other NATO installations, as well as familiarize pilots with the regional theater. The deployment also will give the US planes a chance to conduct combat air training with different US and European jets, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon.
“It’s important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented airmen and allies who will host 5th generation aircraft in Europe,” Gorenc said. “This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security.”
The Air Force announced Monday that the service would send F-22s to Europe for the first time, just weeks after top Pentagon brass began openly calling Russia the greatest threat to the United States. The deployment is part of the European Reassurance Initiative, a Pentagon effort to soothe anxiety among European allies in the face of increased Russian aggression.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made clear during an Aug. 24 press conference at the Pentagon that the Raptor’s “inaugural” deployment to Europe was designed to send a signal to Russia.
"Rotational forces and training exercises help us maintain our strong and balanced approach, and we will certainly be continuing those in the future," she said. "For the Air Force, an F-22 deployment is certainly on the strong side of the coin."

30 August 2015

Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator" Russian Attack Helicopter

The first Ka-52 helicopter was rolled out in December 1996. The helicopter completed its first flight in June 1997. The serial production of Ka-52 began in 2008 at Progress Arsenyev Aviation plant in the Primorye region of Russia.

The Ka-52 Alligator is a next-generation reconnaissance and combat helicopter designed to destroy tanks, armoured and non-armoured ground targets, and enemy troops and helicopters both on the front line and in tactical reserves. The helicopter can operate around the clock and in all weathers. The Ka-52 can provide target acquisition and designation for helicopter teams and ground troop command and control centres. It can also provide fire support for troop landings, fly routine patrols and escort military convoys.

Ka-52 incorporates a slightly modified design of the Ka-50 helicopter. The helicopter features a wider nose and an extended fuselage due to its twin-seat cockpit. The commonality of the airframe, components and systems of the two variants is about 85%.

The helicopter has a length of 16m, height of 4.9m and main rotor diameter of 14.5m. The maximum take-off weight of the Ka-52 is 10,800kg.

The twin-seat cockpit accommodates two crew members in side-by-side arrangement. Both the crew members are seated on identical K-37-800M ejection seats. The modern glass cockpit is equipped with a head-up-display (HUD), four SMD 66 multifunction displays, helmet-mounted sight display, image intensifiers and a GPS receiver. The helicopter also integrates a FAZOTRON cabin desk radio-locator and navigation and attack system for helicopters (NASH).

In September 2012 Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, signed a long-term contract with Ramenskoye Design Company (RDC) for deliveries of avionics equipment. As part of the contract, RDC is responsible for the supply of avionics packages for Ka-52 attack helicopter and Ka-52K advanced ship-based variant between 2013 and 2020.

Armaments on the Attack Helicopter
The starboard side of the fuselage is fitted with a NPPU-80 movable gun mount installed with 2A42 30mm automatic gun. The six wing-mounted external hardpoints can be attached with different combinations of weapons.
The hardpoints can carry VIKHR anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), ATAKA missiles with laser guidance system and B8V-20 rocket launchers for 80mm unguided S-8 rockets. VIKHR anti-tank missile has a range of eight to ten kilometres. The Ka-52s can also be armed with IGLA-V anti-aircraft guided missiles.

Engines and Performance of Russia's Ka-52
The Ka-52 Alligator is powered by two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines driving two coaxial contra-rotating main rotors. Each engine produces a maximum take-off power of 2,400hp. The engines are equipped with a new full authority digital control system (FADEC).
The Ka-52 helicopter can fly at a maximum altitude of 5,500m. The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 300km/h and 260km/h respectively. The helicopter can climb at a rate of 12m/s. The Ka-52 has a practical flight range of 460km, while its ferry flight range is 1,110km.

Sensors, Radars and Countermeasures
The Ka-52 helicopter is fitted with a mast-mounted radome housing a Phazotron FH-01 Millimeter Wave Radar (MMW) radar with two antennas for aerial and ground targets.
The countermeasures are supported by active IR and electronic jammers, radar warning receiver (RWR), laser detection system, IR missile approach warning sensor and UV-26 flare / chaff dispensers in wing-tip fairings.