Russian Helicopters plans to ship the first two Ka-32A11M helicopters late next year and unveiled the upgrade to the current production Ka-32A11BC at HeliRussia’2019 in Moscow in May.
Ka-32 chief designer Shamil Suleimanov said the improved version features more powerful engines, modern avionics, and additional fuel and water tanks. Changes include replacement of the TV3-117VMA turboshafts made in Ukraine with indigenous Klimov VK-2500PS-02 engines, a derivative of the VK-2500PS-03 certified in 2016 and already in service on the Mil Mi-171A2.
Compared to the older engine, the VK2500PS-02 develops more power at takeoff and in emergency power modes, 2,200 shp compared with 2,400 shp, and 2,400 shp compared with 2,700 shp, respectively. The VK-2500PS series is a recent addition to the VK-2500 family, featuring a surge-prevention system and improved performance with the BARK-6V-7S Fadec. The upgraded model has a longer service life of 12,000 hours and longer maintenance intervals.
Coupled with composite blades developed for the Ka-62, the Ka-32A11M will have cargo carrying capacity of 7 tonnes, compared with 5 tonnes on the previous model. In an emergency, the helicopter can take off and land with one engine out and stay airborne for 30 minutes. Provision is made for two additional 500-liter (132-gallon) fuel tanks for ferry flights. For higher firefighting efficiency, the Ka-32A11M comes with two SP-32 water tanks with 4-tonne capacity and digital control.
The Ka-32A11M features avionics from KRET, based on the core developed for the improved Ansat and using elements validated on the Mi-38 and Ka-62. It features three multifunction displays. “The new avionics shall substantially reduce crew load factor and decrease maintenance costs," Suleimanov said. For logging operations the cost per flight hour will be substantially lower, he added.