“The killer of submarines”: what is known about the secret Russian helicopter “Lamprey”
The first photo of a full-size prototype of a helicopter appeared on the Web, taken in one of the assembly shops of Kamov JSC. So far, only the fuselage has been manufactured, the screws have not been installed, although it is known that the upcoming helicopter will have a coaxial scheme, which is traditional for Kamov’s cars. Its appearance has not been a secret for a long time, since the models were demonstrated several years ago.
Despite the fact that there is very little information about the helicopter of the Lamprey project, it is known that he will receive two gas turbine engines TV7−117VK with a capacity of 3000 hp. everyone. Also, afterburner engines can develop 3750 hp for some time. The information was not confirmed that the helicopter will receive a pusher propeller, like the American helicopter SB-1 Defiant. If the latter needs such an arrangement for flying at high speeds, then the anti-submarine helicopter does not need high speed. "Lamprey" is quite enough maximum speed of 300 km / h with a small, since the Kamov machine will not be involved in the prompt transfer of soldiers and cargo, unlike an American helicopter.
Of course, as befits a deck helicopter, the rotor blades will fold, and the machine will also receive improved corrosion protection. Due to the widespread use of composite materials, the Lamprey will be lighter than the Ka-27, but its engines will be more powerful. Consequently, the helicopter will be able to take loads more than those two tons that the Ka-27 takes.
The fact that on behalf of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation JSC Kamov is developing a new anti-submarine helicopter, the general designer of the Kamov company Sergey Mikheev announced back in the summer of 2015. According to him, the creation of a new car will take about ten years, that is, the Lamprey project should be completed in 2025. And the first prototype will be presented in 2020. But this is if everything goes without problems that cannot be ruled out. It is enough to recall the history of the development of the lamprey predecessor, the Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter. Despite the fact that the machine made its first flight in 1973, it was accepted into service only eight years later. When developing the helicopter, the designers had to face a number of serious problems, the elimination of which took a lot of time, which explains such a long time for putting the machine into service.
Despite the fact that in 2021 the Ka-27 will celebrate a half-century anniversary of being in service, this helicopter has not yet fully exhausted its modernization potential. Helicopters in general can be operated for decades, the main thing is that engines and avionics are modernized, so half a century in service, not such a long time. For example, the American UH-1 first flew in 1956, which does not prevent it from remaining one of the most popular helicopters in the world and operated in dozens of countries.
It is worth noting that the Lamprey project is the first Russian, not Soviet, development of Kamov JSC. Although engineering work on the Ka-52 attack helicopter began in the early nineties, this is just a further development of the Ka-50 helicopter, which they began to construct in 1976. The newest Ka-62 also has a Soviet pedigree - its development began in Soviet times, in 1990. But the Lamprey is not a rethinking of Soviet cars, but a truly new helicopter developed in Russia.