Russian Helicopters has completed shipments under last year’s contract with Kaan Air on three Ka-32A11BC helicopters, the company announced at HeliRussia’2019, making Kaan Air the first local operator of Kamov rotorcraft. Registered TC-HLE, TC-HLF, and TC-HLG, these arrived between February and April and were configured for firefighting missions.
Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky said the companies are in talks for five additional Ka-32s and that the Turks are also considering the Ansat. Turkish governmental and commercial structures operate more than 20 Mil Mi-17s.
A civilian version of the Kamov Ka-27/28/29/31 naval helicopter line, the Ka-32A features the design bureau’s characteristic coaxial rotor layout. Apart from search and rescue, cargo transportation, medical evacuation, and firefighting, the current production Ka-32A11BC can also be employed on sea border patrol missions and in support of special forces operations.
Later this year, Russian Helicopters will deliver five Ka-32A11BCs to China’s United Helicopters. These will bring the Ka-32 production run to 170, most of which have been exported, including to the Republic of Korea, Canada, Spain, and Portugal, among others.
Speaking to journalists at HeliRussia’2019, Ka-32 chief designer Shamil Suleimanov attributes the demand for the type to the high efficiency of the helicopter’s coaxial rotor system. “Historically, helicopters with coaxial rotor system have been in use on ships, for they are compact when stored and enable takeoff and landing operation in the conditions of strong winds. Later, we figured out that the same rotor layout could be used successfully in medical aviation and firefighting. When it comes to extinguishing fires in the urban or hilly environments, compact helicopters with coaxial rotors have an advantage over those of classic layout.” Better handling qualities and stability in flight makes the Ka-32 a better choice for the construction industry, he added.