fifth-generation combat helicopter, which experts say would be able to
attack fighter jets and be invisible for radars, the Gazeta daily said
“We are working on the concept of the fifth-generation combat
helicopter,” the paper quoted the company’s CEO, Andrei Shibitov, as
saying at a news conference in Moscow.
Shibitov did not specify the characteristics of the helicopter, but said
the company was going to spend some $1 billion on the project, with
more investment expected to be allocated from the state budget.
The official said the Mil design bureau had been working on a classical
rotor model, which features a large main rotor and a smaller auxiliary
rotor, while the Kamov design bureau had been developing a coaxial rotor
easy to fly while the classical model is more reliable and has a higher
degree of survivability on the battlefield.
First deputy head of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Issues,
Konstantin Sivkov, told the paper that fifth-generation combat
helicopters have never been built before, although the United States has
recently begun working on a similar project.
He said a fifth-generation combat helicopter must have a low radar
signature, a high noise reduction, an extended flying range, be equipped
with a computerized arms control system, be able to combat fighter jets
(existing helicopters are generally only intended to hit ground-based
targets) and reach a speed of up to 500-600 km/h (310-370 mph).
The project cannot proceed, however, unless it is backed by the government.
“If the government does not sign a contract, the idea will die on the
vine,” head of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Issues Leonid Ivashov
Ivashov said that with sufficient investment and good organization the
new helicopter could be built within five years. Otherwise, the project
may drag on for 20-30 years.
But he was somewhat skeptical about the chances of carrying out the project.
“We have been trying to tackle everything – fifth-generation planes,
fifth-generation helicopters, but nothing of this have so far been
supplied to the army – today the army still uses helicopters produced in
1970s,” Ivashov said.
Russia’s main combat helicopter, the Mi-24 Hind, is a third-generation
helicopter, and a few Mi-28 Havoc, Ka-50 and Ka-52 Hokum, which have
just started to arrive in the Russian army, are fourth-generation