29 February 2020

Kamov Ka-29: Nimble Fatboy

The Ka-29 is an assault transport variant of the Soviet Ka-27 anti-submarine warfare helicopter, developed in the mid 1970s by the Kamov Design Bureau. Coming to War Thunder as part of the upcoming update 1.97, the Ka-29 will give fans of rotorcraft the chance to pilot a unique and no less deadly new Soviet avian predator!

Briefly: A variant of the Ka-27, fitted with a wider range of weapon options, making the Ka-29 more suitable for combating ground targets.

Kamov Ka-29, attack helicopter, USSR, VI rank.

Pros

  • Good flight characteristics
  • Effective AT weaponry
  • Smaller silhouette

Cons

  • Lacks more advanced weapons & systems
History

Development of the Ka-29 began in 1973, after engineers at the Kamov Design Bureau decided to create an attack transport variant of the Ka-27, which itself had successfully undertaken its maiden flight that year. Initially, the machine was to be designated Ka-252TB, but was later changed to Ka-29. The Ka-29 was intended to support amphibious naval operations by providing fire support for advancing troops.

After some development work, the prototype of the Ka-29 was ready for testing and conducted its maiden flight in July 1976. Testing was successfully completed by 1979, with the Ka-29 entering mass production in 1984. Shortly after, the Ka-29 entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1985, serving aboard the newly commissioned Ivan Rogov-class landing ships.

Production of the Ka-29 lasted until 1988, with about 60 units of the type being built. This helicopter saw combat in Chechnya in 2000-2001, few units  served in police special operations branches. The Ka-29 is still in service with the Russian and foreign navies, more than three decades after its initial introduction to service.

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In War Thunder, the Ka-29 will be a new attack helicopter coming to Rank VI of the Soviet helicopter tree with update 1.97. In stark contrast to other Soviet rotorcraft, the Ka-29 is a much smaller, more agile and nimble machine, lacking some of the more advanced technology offered by its bigger comrades, yet still packing a formidable punch which is not to be underestimated.

The Ka-29 is powered by two Klimov TV3-117V turboshaft engines, generating a combined power output of roughly 4,380 horsepower. The engines power the Ka-29’s two three-blade coaxial rotors, which give the helicopter its unique visual appearance and allow it not only to get airborne in the first place, but also achieve a top speed of around 280 km/h at low altitude.

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Although the Ka-29 doesn’t strike one as the most formidable attack helicopter in the world, it does make for a strong case in which looks can very much be deceiving. The Ka-29 comes initially armed with 80 unguided rockets, split between four external rocket pods. However, as part of the Ka-29’s researchable upgrades, players will have the chance to further outfit their Ka-29 with additional 23mm gun pods, 9M114 ‘Shturm’ ATGMs, an additional fixed 30mm cannon or a combination of these weapon systems! Lastly, the Ka-29 also comes outfitted from the start with a single 7.62mm rotary machine gun, located in the helicopter’s nose and operated manually by a crew member from the cockpit. Despite being rifle caliber and offering only limited firing angles, the machine gun can come in handy for hunting down enemy helicopters or strafing soft ground targets.

Despite the excellent flight characteristics and deadly armament, the Ka-29 does come with some caveats. Namely, the helicopter lacks some of the more advanced weapon systems and equipment featured on other Soviet helicopters of the higher ranks. Namely, the Ka-29 doesn’t have access to highly potent tandem warhead ATGMs or air-to-air missiles, the latter of which severely limits the helicopter’s ability to defend itself against aircraft or other helicopters. Furthermore, the Ka-29 doesn’t have access to thermal vision, instead being limited to only basic IR image intensifiers.

Overall, the Ka-29 makes for a fantastic choice for helicopter pilots who prefer a more hands-on approach to the action and have the skill and vigilance to avoid enemy detection by utilizing terrain features and the machine’s great agility, all the while ensuring the swift advance of allied units by supporting their teammates on the ground with precise and deadly strikes.

The Ka-29 is soon arriving to rank VI of the Soviet helicopter tree with update 1.97 and will give pilots the chance to try out a different take on Soviet rotorcraft design. In the meantime, make sure to stay tuned to the news for all the latest information surrounding the next major update coming to the game. Until then, clear skies and happy hunting pilots!


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