The new Kamov Ka-32A11M recently made its first flight at the Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (KAPE) in Bashkortostan, Russia. Certification of the coaxial helicopter is expected in 2023.
Tailored for firefighting operations, the helicopter features new night vision goggle-compatible digital avionics, more powerful VK-2500PS-02 engines, and a new fire extinguishing system. Russian Helicopters said the new engines will significantly improve hot-and-high performance and are expected to increase useful load by up to 3,257 pounds.
The new firefighting system aboard the aircraft features a tank that holds up to four tons of water segmented into four compartments. A digitally-controlled, patented flap system allows the tank's flaps to be opened in pairs or alternately, as well as adjusting the opening angles of the flaps to increase water discharge time. The system can automatically draw four tons of water in 60 seconds and add up to 105 gallons of foam agent. It is adapted for the use of a water cannon and is electrically heated, allowing use in winter temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
KAPE has manufactured more than 240 Ka-32-series helicopters that are now in service in 30 countries worldwide.