Weapon and Technology: Apache AH-64 VS MI 28 Havoc Vs Ka-50 Black Shark MI 28 Havoc The Mi-28 combat helicopter has been developed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and is known by the NATO codename Havoc. In August 1996 Mil rolled out a prototype of the day and night capable version, the Mi-28N Night Havoc. The first production Mi-28N took its first flight in April 2004 and began flight testing with the Russian Air Force in June 2005. The Russian Air Force has plans to procure up to 60 of this variant, now called the Mi-28NE Night Hunter. "The Mi-28 can be armed with a mixture of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, unguided rockets, and podded guns. "Three were ordered in 2005 and 16 more in 2006 for delivery by 2008. The first production aircraft was delivered in May 2006 and began formal acceptance testing in September 2006. Five aircraft are involved in the testing which is scheduled to conclude in early 2008. Mi-28 can fly at a maximum speed of 300km/h, can fly rearwards and sideways at speeds up to 100km/h and is able to hover turn at 45Â° a second. DESIGN The helicopter design is based on the conventional pod and boom configuration, with a tail rotor. The main rotor head has elastomeric bearings and the main rotor blades are made from composite materials. The tail rotor is designed on a biplane configuration, with independently controlled X-shaped blades. A new design of all plastic rotor blades, which can sustain hits from 30mm shells, has been installed on the Night Havoc Mi-28N helicopter. The helicopter has non-retractable tricycle tail-wheel type landing gear. The energy-absorbing landing gear and seats protect the crew in a crash landing or in a low-altitude vertical fall. The crew are able to survive a vertical fall of up to 12m/s. The Mi-28 has a fully armoured cabin, including the windshield, which withstands impact by 7.62mm and 12.7mm bullets and 20mm shell fragments. WEAPONS The Mi-28A has small swept-back, mid-mounted stub-wings with four suspension units. Countermeasures pods are mounted on the wingtips. The helicopter can be armed with a mixture of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, unguided rockets, and podded guns. The Mi-28 and Mi-28N Night Havoc are armed with Shturm and Ataka anti-tank missiles supplied by the Kolumna Design Bureau (KBM). Up to 16 anti-tank missiles can be mounted on the helicopter. Shturm is a short-range, radio command-guided missile. The Ataka missile's guidance is by narrow radar beam, and maximum range of the missile is 8km. The missile has a tandem shaped-charge warhead for penetration of 950mm to 1,000mm armour. "The Mi-28 has a fully armoured cabin, including the windshield."The helicopter can also carry four containers, each with 20 80mm unguided rockets or with five 122mm rockets. The helicopter can alternatively carry containers with grenade launchers, 23mm guns, 12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns, aerial bombs, and incendiary tanks. The helicopter is equipped with a turreted 2A42 30mm cannon, stabilised in two axes, with a muzzle velocity of 1,000m/s. FIRE CONTROL AND SURVEILLANCE The pilot uses a helmet-mounted target designator, which allocates the target to the navigator's surveillance and fire control system. The navigator / weapons officer is then able to deploy guided weapons or guns against the target. The targeting system follows the direction of the pilot's eyes. The integrated surveillance and fire control system has two optical channels providing wide and narrow fields of view, a narrow-field-of-view optical television channel, and laser rangefinder. The system can move within 110Â° in azimuth and from +13Â° to -40Â° in elevation. ENGINES The Mi-28A helicopter is powered by two TV3-117VMA turboshaft engines, fitted on either side of the fuselage. It is equipped with an auxiliary power unit for self-contained operation. The thermal signature of the helicopter has been reduced by a factor of 2.5 times compared to its predecessor, the Mi-24. "The Mi-28A helicopter is powered by two TV3-117VMA turboshaft engines."MI-28N NIGHT HAVOC The Night Havoc helicopter retains most of the structural design of the Mi-28. The main difference is the installation of an integrated electronic combat system. Other modifications include: new main gearbox for transmitting higher power to the rotor; new high-efficiency blades with swept-shaped tips; and an engine fuel injection control system. The main sensors of the integrated electronic combat system are the microwave radar antenna, mounted above the rotor head, and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system. The system displays the helicopter location on a moving map indicator, and flight, systems and target information on liquid crystal displays. The crew are equipped with night-vision goggles AH-64D Longbow The AH-64D Longbow has been deployed by the US Army in Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and, from June 2003, in South Korea. "The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter developed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing)."The AH-64D Longbow is fitted with the Longbow millimetre wave fire control radar and the Longbow Hellfire missile. 501 AH-64A Apaches upgraded to AH-64D standard have been delivered to the US Army. Deliveries completed in August 2006. 13 additional new-build Apaches have been ordered. A further 11 were ordered in November 2006. In January 2007, the US Army ordered 96 additional remanufactured helicopters and, in April 2007, 18 new-build helicopters. The first new-build AH-64D was delivered to the US Army in June 2007 and the first of the additional remanufactured helicopters in October 2007. International orders The Longbow has also been ordered by the Netherlands (30, deliveries complete), Singapore (20, first delivered in May 2002, deliveries complete), Israel (designated 'Seraph' nine new, nine remanufactured, first delivered April 2005) and Egypt (35, remanufactured, deliveries completed in January 2007). A number of AH-64A helicopters have been upgraded to AH-64D standard for South Korea. 30 Apaches of United Arab Emirates (UAE) are being upgraded to AH-64D Longbow standard, deliveries are to begin in May 2008. In June 2006, Saudi Arabia requested the upgrade of 12 Apaches to standard and, in September 2008, the sale of 12 new AH-64Ds. In August 2001, the AH-64D was selected by the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force with a requirement for 55 helicopters. The Apache for Japan is designated AH-64DJP and is armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in March 2006. In September 2002, Kuwait ordered 16 AH-64D helicopters. The first was delivered in February 2007. The Kuwaiti Apaches are equipped with BAE Systems HIDAS defensive aids system. In September 2003, Greece signed a contract for 12 (plus four options) AH-64D Longbow, also to be fitted with HIDAS. The first was delivered in January 2007. Upgrades The first of the upgraded Block II Apaches was delivered to the US Army in February 2003. Block II includes upgrades to the digital communications systems to improve communications within the 'tactical internet'. In July 2005, the US Army awarded Boeing a development contract for Block III improvements, to enter service from 2011. "Block III improvements, slated for 2008 onwards, include increasing digitisation."Block III includes increasing digitisation, the joint tactical radio system, enhanced engines and drive systems, capability to control UAVs and new composite rotor blade. The new blades, which successfully completed flight testing in May 2004, increase the Apache's cruise speed, climb rate and payload capability. The Block III system development and demonstration (SDD) contract was awarded to Boeing in July 2006. First flight of the Apache Block III was in July 2008. The US Army plans to upgrade all its Apache fleet to Block III standard. WAH-64 A consortium of GKN Westland (now AgustaWestland), Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Shorts bid a version of the Longbow Apache for the UK Army attack helicopter requirement which was selected in July 1995. Assembly of the WAH-64 Longbow Apache was carried out in the UK by AgustaWestland. The first helicopter entered service in January 2001 designated as the AH mk1. 67 helicopters have been delivered; the last was formally handed over at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2004. Initial operating capability was achieved in October 2004 and, in May 2005, the first of three Army Air Corps regiments of 18 helicopters was declared fully operational. The other two regiments are expected to be fully operational by 2010. The AH mk1 helicopter has also been operated successfully on HMS Ocean helicopter carrier and, in November 2006, made a first landing on Invincible Class aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal. In March 2007, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that, by September 2007, all UK Army Apache helicopters will be based at Wattisham Airbase in Suffolk. Apache weapons A 30mm automatic Boeing M230 chain gun is located under the fuselage. It provides a rate of fire of 625 rounds a minute. The helicopter has capacity for up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition. The AH-64D is armed with the Lockheed Martin / Boeing AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire air-to-surface missile which has a millimetre wave seeker which allows the missile to perform in full fire and forget mode. Range is 8km to 12km. "The Apache's 30mm automatic Boeing M230 chain gun fires 625 rounds a minute." The Apache can be equipped with air-to-air missiles (Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm) and the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), formerly known as Hydra, family of guided and unguided 70mm rockets. From 2008, it will be armed with the APKWS II, a laser-guided version of the Hydra. The US Army awarded BAE Systems a contract for the APKWS II in April 2006. British Army AH mk1 helicopters are armed with the CRV7 70mm rocket system from Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Longbow Apache carries the combination of armaments chosen for the particular mission. In the close support role, the helicopter carries 16 Hellfire missiles on four four-rail launchers and four air-to-air missiles. Sensors The AH-64D Longbow Apache is equipped with the Northrop Grumman millimetre-wave Longbow radar. The Longbow fire control radar incorporates an integrated radar frequency interferometer for passive location and identification of radar-emitting threats. An advantage of millimetre wave is that it performs under poor-visibility conditions and is less sensitive to ground clutter. The short wavelength allows a very narrow beamwidth, which is resistant to countermeasures. The Longbow Apache can effect an attack in 30 seconds. The radar dome is unmasked for a single radar scan and then remasked. The processors determine the location, speed and direction of travel of a maximum of 256 targets. The target acquisition designation sight, TADS (AN/ASQ-170), and the pilot night vision sensor, PNVS (AN/AAQ-11), were developed by Lockheed Martin. The turret-mounted TADS provides direct-view optics, television and three-fields-of-view forward-looking infrared (FLIR) to carry out search, detection and recognition, and Litton laser rangefinder / designator. PNVS consists of a FLIR in a rotating turret located on the nose above the TADS. The image from the PNVS is displayed in the monocular eyepiece of the Honeywell integrated helmet And display sighting system, IHADSS, worn by the pilot and copilot / gunner. "The AH-64D Longbow Apache is equipped with the Northrop Grumman millimetre-wave Longbow radar."Lockheed Martin has developed a new targeting and night vision system for the Apache, using second-generation long-wave infrared sensors with improved range and resolution. The new system is called Arrowhead and has a targeting FLIR with three fields of view, a dual field-of-view pilotage FLIR, a CCD TV camera, electronic zoom, target tracker and auto-boresight. Arrowhead entered production in December 2003 and the first unit was delivered to the US Army in May 2005. 704 US Army Apaches are to be equipped with Arrowhead by 2011. A contract to equip the UK AH Mk1 helicopters with Arrowhead was placed in May 2005. Deliveries are scheduled for between 2009 and 2010. Countermeasures The Apache is equipped with an electronic warfare suite consisting of: AN/APR-39A(V) radar warning receiver from Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton) and Lockheed Martin; Lockheed Martin AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometer Electronic Support target acquisition system; AN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasures set from BAE Systems IEWS (formerly Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company); AN/AVR-2 laser warning receiver from Goodrich (formerly Hughes Danbury Optical Systems then Raytheon); AN/ALQ-136(V) radar jammer developed by ITT; and chaff dispensers. US Army Longbow Apaches were to be fitted with the ITT AN/ALQ-211 SIRCM (suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures) suite, however the availability of funding for this project is uncertain. UK AH mk1 Apaches are fitted with BAE Systems helicopter integrated defensive aids suite (HIDAS), also chosen by Kuwait and Greece. HIDAS, which includes the Sky Guardian 2000 radar warning receiver, entered service on the AH mk1 in July 2003. Israeli AH-64D helicopters are fitted with the Elisra Seraph self-protection system, including SPS-65 missile warner and SPJ-40 radar jammer. Dutch AH-64D helicopters are being fitted with the Northrop Grumman directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) pod. Engines The Apache is equipped with two turboshaft engines, each providing 1,265kW. The American AH-64D has General Electric T700-GE-701 engines and the UK Apache is fitted with RTM322 engines from Rolls-Royce / Turbomeca. Ka-50 Black Shark The Ka-50 Black Shark helicopter, developed by Kamov Helicopters JSC, carries the NATO codename Hokum A, Hokum B being the two-seat version, Ka-52. Ka-50 is also known as Werewolf. It is a high performance combat helicopter with day and night capability, high survivability and fire power to defeat air targets and heavily armoured tanks armed with air defence weapons. It entered service in the Russian Army during 1995 and is manufactured at the Sazykin Aviation Company Progress based in Arseniev Maritime Territory, Russia. A first batch of eight Ka-50 aircraft has been delivered. 12 Ka-52 were to be procured for Russian Air Force special operations in 2005, but funding for the programme has been cut from the 2005 budget. A night attack version, Ka-50N, with Samshit-50T thermal imager, day TV and laser rangefinder has been developed, and Kamov has also joined with Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) to produce a version, the Ka-50-2 Erdogan that is compatible with NATO weapons and has an Israeli equipped cockpit. DESIGN The coaxial rotor design provides a hovering ceiling of 4,000m and vertical rate of climb of 10m/s at an altitude of 2,500m. The rotor blades are made from polymer materials. The coaxial-rotor configuration results in moments of inertia values relative to vertical and lateral axes being between 1.5 to 2 times less than the values found in single rotor helicopters with tailrotors. Absence of the tail rotor enables the helicopter to perform flat turns within the entire flight speed range. A maximum vertical g-load of 3.5 combined with low moments of inertia give the Ka-50 a high level of agility. Extensive all-round armour installed in the cockpit protects the pilot against 12.7mm armour piercing bullets and 23mm projectile fragments. The rotor blades are rated to withstand several hits of ground-based automatic weapons. The Ka-50 is the world's first operational helicopter with a rescue ejection system, which allows pilot to escape at all altitudes and speeds. The K-37-800 Rocket Assisted Ejection System is manufactured by the Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise Joint Stock Company in the Moscow Region. WEAPONS A combination of various armaments to a maximum weapon load of 2t can be selected according to the mission, including anti-tank missiles, unguided aerial rockets of different calibres, air-to-air missiles, guns, bombs and other weapons. The helicopter has small mid-mounted wings fitted with four underwing suspension units and wingtip countermeasures pods. Up to 12 Vikhr supersonic antitank missiles can be mounted on the helicopter's two underwing external stores. The laser beamriding Vikhr missile is stated as having a target hit probability close to one, against a tank at a range of up to 8km, and the capability of penetrating all types of armour including active armour up to 900mm thick. The Ka-50 is armed with a 2A42 quick-firing 30mm gun which has an unrestricted azimuth and elevation range mounting for use against airborne or ground targets. The gun is equipped with 460 rounds of ammunition, two types being carried, high-fragmentation and explosive incendiary rounds and armour-piercing rounds. The pilot selects the type of ammunition in flight. The weight of the ammunition is 0.39kg each round, the muzzle velocity is 980m/s and the range is up to 4km. The gun provides an angular firing accuracy of 2 to 4 mrad. AVIONICS Flight systems include inertial navigation system (INS), autopilot and head-up display (HUD). Sensors include FLIR (forward-looking infrared) and terrain-following radar. COUNTERMEASURES Ka-50 is fitted with radar warning receiver, electronic warfare system and chaff and flare dispenser. ENGINES The Ka-50 is powered by two TV3-117VMA turboshafts engines each providing 2,200hp. The engines are placed on either side of the fuselage to enhance the combat survivability. The helicopter also has an auxiliary power unit (APU) for self-contained operation. currently israel signed a deal with russia to israel invest in this attack helicopter program to replace in future apaches Comanche RAH-66 The Comanche RAH-66 reconnaissance and attack helicopter was being developed by Boeing and Sikorsky for the US Army. The first flight of the Comanche took place on 4 January 1996. The programme entered engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) in June 2000, which required the construction of nine aircraft in addition to the two prototypes by 2006. Critical design review of the overall weapon system was completed in June 2003 and was to be followed by low rate initial production of 78 helicopters in three batches in 2007. "The Comanche RAH-66 reconnaissance and attack helicopter was being developed for the US Army."In February 2004, the US Army announced that it planned to cancel further research, development and planned purchases of the RAH-66 Comanche stealth helicopter. It believed that the helicopter would not meet the requirements of changing operational environments. An amendment to congress was submitted for the 2005 budget request that would allow the Army to terminate the Comanche programme and reallocate funds to restructure Army aviation programmes. The Army planned to buy approximately 800 more aircraft and upgrade another 400 with the diverted Comanche funds. The armed reconnaissance block I version was scheduled for initial operating capability in 2009 and heavy attack block II version in 2011. The US Army requirement was for 650 Comanche helicopters. Production of the Comanche would have taken place at Sikorsky's site in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Boeing was responsible for manufacturing and assembling the composite tail section and rotor blades and Sikorsky for manufacture of the main fuselage and gearbox and for integration and final assembly of the airframe. In an armed reconnaissance mission, Comanche can recognise and identify targets and digitally transmit the information to the battlefield commander in near real-time, select the optimum force deployment and co-ordinate the attack. Comanche design The airframe is crashworthy and ballistically tolerant to 23mm gunfire. The radar cross section has been minimised, primarily by the precisely shaped fuselage and internal weapons configuration. The helicopter has a composite five-bladed bearingless main rotor and an enclosed composite fantail tailrotor for increased anti-torque capability. The rear rotor is able to withstand impact by 12.7mm rounds and provides a 180Â° turn in 4.7 seconds in hover mode and an 80kt snap-turn-to-target in 4.5 seconds. Cockpit The Comanche has two identical cockpits for the pilot and the co-pilot, which are sealed and have a positive pressure air system for protection against chemical and biological warfare. The fly-by-wire flight control system is triple redundant. "In 2004, the US Army announced plans to cancel the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter programme."The cockpit is fitted with a pilot's night-vision system from Lockheed Martin and the pilots have a wide field of view Kaiser Electronics helmet-integrated display sighting system (HIDSS). HIDSS employs active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology. The targets are designated and the weapons fired from collective and sidestick control push buttons. Each integrated cockpit has Harris Corp. flat screen liquid crystal displays, a colour display for a digital moving map system, tactical situation and night operation display. Northrop Grumman provided the Comanche's integrated communications, navigation and identification (CNI) suite. The CNI suite will feature secure multi-wave, multiband multimode wireless communications, Link 16, satellite communications and enhanced position locating reporting system (EPLRS) via the tactical internet. Weapons The Comanche carries its weapons internally and has a weapons bay on each side of the fuselage. The missiles are mounted on the weapon bay doors which open sideways. The internal weapon bay can be fitted with Stinger, Starstreak or Mistral air-to-air missiles; TOW II, Hot II or Longbow Hellfire air-to-ground missiles; Sura D 81mm, Snora 81mm, Hydra 70 rockets; or the army counter air weapon system. The number of missiles on each door mounting varies, for example each door will hold three Hellfire or six Stinger missiles. The helicopter can be reconfigured with optional stub wings fitted with multiple weapon pylons which carry an additional four Hellfire or eight Stinger missiles. The Comanche is equipped with a turreted gun system from General Dynamics Armament Systems. The stowable externally-powered three-barrel 20mm Gatling gun is capable of firing 750 or 1,500 rounds a minute. The gun is mounted on a Giat composite turret (weighing 127kg) under the nose of the helicopter. The 500 round ammunition supply system can be reloaded in less than eight minutes by two crew members. Countermeasures The helicopter countermeasures suite includes an AN/AVR-2A(V) advanced laser warning receiver from Goodrich Electro-Optical Systems (formerly Raytheon) of Danbury, Connecticut and the ITT AN/ALQ-211 SIRCM (suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures) suite, as well as infrared jammers. Fire control and observation The Comanche is equipped with a suite of passive sensors and a computer-aided Northrop Grumman mission planning system, which carries out sensor data fusion, high-speed analysis and correlation of the sensor data. Northrop Grumman TASS (target acquisition system software) functions include automatic target tracking and target threat management. The analysed data is presented to the crew in the cockpit displays or transmitted to other elements of the force, providing direct relay of near real time intelligence. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has developed the EOSS (electro-optics sensor system) which comprises: EOTADS target acquisition and designation system, including solid-state TV sensor, two-colour laser rangefinder / designator and second-generation focal plane array long-wave FLIR (forward-looking infrared); and NVPS night-vision pilotage system with a second FLIR. The first complete EOSS system was delivered in June 2003. The Comanche will be fitted with a fire control radar (based on the Longbow millimetre wave radar on the AH-64D Apache helicopter) being developed by Northrop Grumman Land Combat Systems and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The Comanche is equipped with two T-800-LHT-801 turboshaft engines."Navigation and communications The helicopter has a global positioning system, a radar altimeter and an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) from Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton). It is equipped with an identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator and a dual jam resistant VHF-FM / UHF-AM Have Quick tactical communications system. Engines The Comanche is equipped with two T-800-LHT-801 turboshaft engines from LHTec with a maximum rated power of 1,563shp each. The internal fuel capacity of the helicopter is 1,142l.