Kamov Ka-52 Alligator/Hokum-B - Technology, Discussion and Balance

WIP


Summary: Ka-52 is a further development and a redesign of the ka-50. It maintains almost all the characteristics of it’s ancestor while improving on it. The biggest problem with the ka-50 was pilot workload, which in turn lead to the development of the ka-52.

As it stands today the ka-52 has seen the most extensive combat compared to every other attack helicopter in service.

Specifications (Standard Ka-52):
[Note: There are multiple variants of Ka-52 with slight or more major differences. We will be focusing on the variant with the vitebsk system and the arbalet radar)

Country of origin: Russia
Entered service: 2008
Crew: 2

Dimensions and weight:

Length: 13,53m
Main rotor diameter: 14,5m
Height: 4,95m
Weight (empty): ~8t
Weight (maximum take off):10,8t

Engines and performance:

Engines: 2x TV3-117VMA Turboshaft Jet engines
Engine power: 2x 2,200shp
Maximum speed: ±310km/h
Service ceiling: 5,5 km
Range (max payload): 520km
Ferry range: 1,200km
Endurance: 1 hour 40 minutes

Offensive Armament:


1x 30mm 2A42 (460 rounds, dual feeding) Autocannon mounted on a limited gimbal
4x 23mm GSh-23L Cannon Pods
12x 9K127 Vikhr/9K127-1 Vikhr-M ATGM
12x 9M120-1 Ataka ATGM
2-4x Kh-25ML AGM
4x LMUR/Izdeliye 305 F&F/Datalink ATGM
16x Hermes-a ATGM (Still in development)
20x S-13 Unguided Rockets (Multiple variants)
80x S-8KO Unguided Rockets
4x Bombs
8x 9M39 Igla Air-Air MANPADS
2x R-74M Air-Air Missile

Defensive Armament:

128x Countermeasures (Flares/Chaff)
HIRSS Exhaust shield
SPO L-150 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
L-140 Laser Warning System (LWS)
UV Missile Approach Warning (MAW)
L-370 Vitebsk Direct IRCM System with 2x Dazzler Units (DIRCM)
RN-01 Arbalet Millimeter Wave Radar
GOES-451 TV/FLIR Autotracker and Designator
44mm Bulletproof Glass and 20mm Alluminium Alloy Armored Cockpit

The Ka-52 much like the Ka-50 is fitted with an ejection system and also features retractable landing gear.

Variants:

As stated before, there are multiple Ka-52s with some noticeable differences, but the most important variants are the following:

Ka-52 (Early): No radar or DIRCM mounted and most likely doesn’t use the GOES-451
Ka-52 (Late): Radar, DIRCM and GOES-451 is present
Ka-52K: Navalised version of the late variant. It uses the OES-52 and can fire anti-ship missiles.
Ka-52E: Export variant sold to Egypt
Ka-52M (2023+): An even more modernized version featuring a more advanced DIRCM, AESA Radar, as well as the GOES-451M. It’s also likely integrated to use the LMUR ATGM

The Ka-52/50 both utilize a contra rotating rotor meaning there is no need for a tail rotor, which makes the helicopter a lot of survivable as well as giving it a unique maneuverability profile

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Ka-52 flying back to base with the tail section noticably being damaged

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Now to spark the discussion. There is a reason why I put balance in the title. This helicopter as it stands today in game, is single handedly the most assblasted busted vehicle in game. This gives the chance to a single pilot to completely decide the outcome of a battle. It’s almost entirely immune to IR missiles (A-A only for now) due to it’s DIRCM, well good luck even getting a lock to begin with thanks to HIRSS and if that isn’t enough it will automatically spam the entire stock of flares the RuAF has the moment it detects a launch. With how helicopter damage models are in game, and thanks to the lack of a tail rotor not even the yamato’s main guns can bring this thing down.

My complaint is that this variant was added way too early despite the fact there were more balanced solutions

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Excellent post, Jackel.
Tho your opinion on its balance ignores all other 11.7 helicopters existing.

HRSS isn’t modeled in War Thunder currently.
And MAW isn’t unique to it.
DIRCM is an issue for sure that makes it rather defensible against SPAA you shouldn’t be seeing to begin with, but the SPAA within its BR bracket are all immune to such DIRCM.

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Beamriders and laser should be fine against the current L-370 as proven irl. As for the other helis at 11.7, they don’t get close to performance. Hellfires have their issues with the model. Maybe now with more F&F missiles things will change but it will take some time to document the situation. Excuding chinese helis that are mostly for air to air, helis with hellfire and similar missiles don’t pose as much of a threat when there is spaa up.

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Hellfires lack their 45 seconds of guidance time for sure [10.4km estimated based on a hovering helicopter].
It’d be nice to get AGM-114Rs now that USA is equipping them to helicopters finally.

I still think Beam Riding is inferior to laser, even if laser gives a warning.
People talk about speed, which Mokopa on Rooivalk is the 2nd fastest 10km range missile in WT yet no one claims that’s OP even tho its AGMs are easily superior to Vikhrs in the anti-armor role while also having MAW, LWR, thermals, and as good optics as Apache & Ka-52.

Ka-52 is strong, but IMO Vikhr isn’t what makes it 11.7 strong against armor, it’s the support systems that are on other helicopters that help find & identify vehicles.

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I assume you mean HIRSS, but it is modelled. Some Russian helicopters may have a seperate modification for it (stock you see that the exhausts are completely open and exposed). Their effect is seemingly just modelled as a 0.7 multiplier to engine IR brightness, as well as an updated visual model, which might change the directionality of the IR heat source of the exhaust.
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Most other toptier helicopters should have it already built in, it’s rather easy to spot by just looking at the exhaust constructions. However I’m not sure if in those models the IR heat source is simply only directional or also has a IR brightness multiplier (I could not find such a thing for any other helicopter without explicit HIRSS module).

DIRCM has a small benefit against some A2A missiles. The R-73 and Magic 2 are both immune to IRCM but can be fooled by DIRCM. Minor benefit, as it’s unlikely to capture helicopters with IR seekers to begin with.

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It does, the chinese campers with ty-90 tremble the moment they spot a ka52 for obvious reasons

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Right, I forgot about manpads on helicopters. Yeah the DIRCM works against them, unlike IRCM. Though if you manage to lock the Ka-52 from > 1km with a missile that uses the tracking suspension type IRCCM, the missile is able to at the very least take an inertially guided flight path to the target, so if the Ka-52 (or Mi-28NM, being the only other with DIRCM I think) doesn’t change directions, they might still get hit through proximity.

I suppose having DIRCM is still quite useful then. Though point still stands, unless you are having near knife fights with a helcopter essentially, attaining IR locks on them is pretty hard to begin with, especially when they have HIRSS and are facing you. But yeah, in case of helipad camping it works well, against their IR missiles and not their gun if they have it ofc.

I’ve done a test against Stingers recently, and there was no difference in lock range between HIRSS and no HIRSS.
Some helicopters without HIRSS actually had a lower lock range than those with HIRSS.
So there’s a lot of IR inaccuracies with helicopters at this time.

I’ve died to stinger-E sometimes, the missile would spaz out but manage to hit some times.

DIRCM most likely works against thermal imager based seekers too, which is not modeled in game. Had my report turned down reason being


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DIRCM can definately blind a thermal imager as long as it operates on the same wavelength. I found some research that contains some good information
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Did you test on the same helicopter with and without HIRSS or on different helcopters, on the Ka-52 (or Mi-24s) you can for instance just turn off the module. If tested on different helcopters, tests might be inconclusive because of different engine IR signature and configurations. But without a doubt, the IR lock ranges can be indeed very inconsistent

It does work. The ka52 had a bug 2 updates ago, basically if you installed the MAW, HIRSS would be removed (now its fixed) but I played a lot without it. It’s noticeable, I saw manpads firing from longer than usual ranges.

Mi-24 and Ka-50, since I don’t have HIRSS on Ka-52 or 29 at this time.