How does Boeing AH-64 Apache compare to Kamov Ka-50 Attack Helicopter?
It compares very favorably. The AH-64 has an advanced targeting and weapons suite, far more than the Ka-50, which instead focuses on reusability, inexpensiveness, and single-pilot operations.
The AH-64D is especially more lethal, as it sports AN/APG-78 Longbow fire control radar. Wikipedia does an excellent job of summarizing its effectiveness:
The raised position of the radome enables the detection of targets and launching of missiles while the helicopter is behind obstacles (e.g. terrain, trees or buildings). The AN/APG-78 is capable of simultaneously tracking 128 targets and engaging the 16 most dangerous ones, and can initiate an attack within 30 seconds while passing data on the other targets to other Longbow Apaches via a data link.
The Ka-50 has no onboard radar. The upcoming AH-64E will have Link 16 support (advanced datalink capability), whereas the data link on the Ka-50 is primitive and supports basic intraflight target-sharing only.
The AH-64 has an advanced integrated helmet display allowing the pilot to quickly locate and fire on targets. The Ka-50 supports only a basic helmet-mounted sight that he can use to visually acquire targets and train guns with, without radar or FLIR/thermal imaging overlays.The AH-64’s nose-mounted sensor system includes a FLIR for night-attack targeting; Ka-50 pilots can wear night vision goggles but the onboard optical targeting system (the I-251 “Shkval”) does not have infrared capability, limiting the effective range of Ka-50 nighttime attacks. Meanwhile, an AH-64 can “fire a Hellfire through a window four miles away at night,” according to Gen. Steiner.
For self-defense, the Apache Longbow radar can detect and identify incoming missiles, and the Ground Fire Acquisition System (GFAS) can optically detect ground fire directed at the aircraft. The Ka-50 has only a simple laser warning receiver and two flare dispensers.
The Ka-50 does have a few advantages over the AH-64, though. Its simplicity means it’s cheaper to build (although only 16 were ever built), and it is designed as the only single-pilot attack helicopter. Still, pilot skill notwithstanding, the AH-64 is the clear winner in the battle of technologies.
Kind of twofold question. If you compare the AH-64A to the earlier Ka-50 airframes the Apache would win in nearly all aspects, avionic wise. However the Black Sharks were and still are used as a testbed for all kinds of stuff, including MWS’s, FLIR and fire control radars. I’m sure at some point there was a Ka-50 that surpassed the AH-64A’s capabilities in many ways you could think of and might even reach the AH-64D’s performance, but there isn’t really a “standard” Ka-50 airframe you could base a comparison on since all of them are constantly being modified. There is, however, the Ka-52, which is still highly classified and I wouldn’t be surprised if it performed better than any existing Apache variant. It’s a very new design and a lot of them are still on order. I think some were used in Syria, along with Mi-28s and -24s.
The answer to your question is yes and no, depending on your definition of “Ka-50”.
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