Russia is set to deliver Ka-52K helicopters to Egypt.
International Cooperation Department Chief of Russia’s Rostec state hi-tech corporation Viktor Kladov said:
“We have just returned from Egypt. We discussed these issues. The helicopter carriers were initially intended for the Ka-52K rotorcraft.
Thus, the helicopters will be used by the ground forces and be based on the Mistral ships. I believe that a fundamental decision has been made, the procedure of signing a contract is only a technical issue.”
This comes after Egypt purchased two Mistral class assault ships from France. In September 2015, French President François Hollande announced that due to Russia’s “recent actions in Ukraine”, the two ships built for Russia, Vladivostok and Sevastopol, would not be delivered. France has now paid Russia a sum greater than $1 billion in compensation.
A report by Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, quoted by Russia Today’s Arabic service and an array of other Russian sources, claims that Egypt purchased the helicopter carriers with the help of a Russian loan.
In 2017, Russian Helicopters started producing its first Ka-52 helicopters designed for export, the overall production was doubled in order to meet export demand. By May 2017, the Russian company had completed the production of Egypt’s first batch of Ka-52s making them ready for flight tests. Egyptian pilots are expected to start training in June at the company’s training center in Arsenyev. Delivery of the first batch will take place by the end of summer 2017.
Egypt’s Ka-52 is supplied with modernised sensors and defense systems making it significantly different from that in service of the Russian Air Force. The helicopter is equipped with the OES-52 electro-optical observation and laser targeting system, replacing the standard GOES-451 mounted under the nose.
According to the manufacturer, the new optronic system began development in 2011 as a collaboration between Kamov and the French company Sagem, which has used the experience gained from its STRIX sighting System.