Crews from the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy News have started training on Kamov Ka-27M multipurpose helicopters. They have been modernized from the original Ka-27PL anti-submarine versions that entered service in 1981. They feature a glass cockpit, a new radar, high-capacity, open-architecture avionics and secure data exchange systems. Recent plans call for almost 50 of the 80 remaining Ka-27PLs to upgrade their modernization. About six Ka-27Ms have already been delivered to the navy’s center for combat usage, flight personnel retraining and type conversion in Yeisk on the Black Sea coast.
The ceremony took place at the KumAPP factory in Kumertau, where all rotorcraft of the Kamov Ka-27/28/29/31/32 series have been built. In Dec 2016 Russian navy received the first KA 27M helicopter along with technical details as side number 14, registration RF-19190.
Work on the future Ka-27M began in 1998, when the Kamov design house modified one of its operational prototypes into a technology demonstrator. One of those underwent modernization to the latest standard in 2008. Following assessment and trials of the industry-operated examples, the Russian defense ministry awarded Russian Helicopters an initial contract in 2013, calling for eight Ka-27PLs to be modernized into the Ka-27M standard. Delivery dates, however, they have been repeatedly postponed due to late arrivals of helicopters at KumAPP and various technical imperfections discovered during testing. The Russian defense ministry awarded KumAPP a second order in 2014, for modernization of 14 more Ka-27PLs. Following the first batch, their deliveries have also been postponed, from 2016 to sometime this year. The amount of the initial and follow-on order is estimated at Rouble 8 billion, which, by the 2013 exchange rates, renders the cost of one helicopter modernization at little over $10 million.
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