Russia's navy is to acquire a navalised version of the Kamov Ka-62 light utility helicopter by 2014 to serve on its Project 20380-class frigates, according to a high command source cited by the Izvestia newspaper.
A navy specification for the new Ka-62 variant will be drawn up by the end of this year, the source said, but Kamov confirms it has already begun drawing up plans for a navalised model.
The navy needs a new type to operate from its 2,500t displacement ships, as its existing Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters are too large.
"The Ka-27 weighs 12t and is 5m [16ft] high because it is co-axial," says a navy source quoted by the paper. "On a ship of less than 3,000t, a large hangar spoils the seakeeping and handling of the ship. In sea states greater than five, the ship could be in danger of capsizing."
"We are not yet sure about the onboard equipment," says a Kamov source. "It will take a lot of effort to fit in an acoustics suite, dipping sonar and lightweight torpedos, but nothing is impossible." The navalised version will have folding main rotor blades and a folding tail.
Kamov's first design to use a conventional main and tail rotor layout, the first production example of the roughly 6t Ka-62 utility transport is due to make its flight debut in 2013.
Meanwhile, the navy's Northern Fleet is carrying out deck-landing and ASW trials with a modified Ka-27M. The type features modern electronics equipment and a new radar which provides 360˚ coverage with a greater search radius and can simultaneously track dozens of targets, including surface and airborne threats. The enhancements are expected to extend the Ka-27's service life by another 10 to 15 years.