Turning heads at Le Bourget whenever it takes to the skies is Kamov’s Ka-52 helicopter. Its co-axial rotor blades and comprehensive weapons suite mark it out from the herd and, amazingly for a helicopter, it even has ejection seats. With the Ka-52 now in Russian army service and being touted for export, the design bureau is busy working on a maritime version for the Russian navy.
The merger of Russia’s two leading helicopter makers is inevitable, according to Sergey Mikheyev, constructor general of Kamov, one of the two companies involved. “I believe that the merger of design bureaus, mass production plants and adjacent enterprises in a single helicopter-building association is inevitable and will happen sooner or later,” Mikheyev told reporters in Moscow on August 12.