Ka-25 Anti-Submarine Helicopter
The Ka-25 is the first Soviet anti-submarine helicopter, as well as the first domestic combat helicopter originally designed for combat use. It is a two-engine helicopter with coaxial rotor arrangement and developed vertical stabilizer tail. It was developed by Kamov Design Bureau under leadership of the chief designer N.I. Kamov.
The Kamov DB received the requirements specification for development of a two-engine shipborne hunter-killer helicopter, which was to be located in hangars of small anti-submarine ships or based in groups on large aircraft carriers in 1958. The helicopter project was ready as early as in 1960, and the first test flight of the new helicopter took place on 21 May 1961. Its serial production was launched in 1965 at plant No. 99 (future Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant).
On December 2, 1971, the Ka-25 anti-submarine helicopter was officially adopted by the Navy in the basic anti-submarine version as Ka-25PL (designed to search and destroy enemy nuclear submarines at a distance of about 200 km from the base ship), as well as in Ka-25Ts target designation helicopter version (to adjust the long-range ship missile over-the-horizon targeting).
In addition, Kamov’s Ka-25PS SAR version carried out missions on search and rescue of crews in distress at sea, as well as for transportation of bulky cargo on external sling.
In total, about 460 Ka-25 helicopters were built in various modifications. To date, the Ka-25 has been removed from service, but it has been replaced by Ka-27, Ka-28 and Ka-32 helicopters developed on its base. During its use, the Ka-25 has proved to be a reliable and maintenance-friendly aircraft, as evidenced by its long-term intense operation in numerous sea and ocean trips on ships of various purposes at group and single bases, including on anti-submarine cruisers "Moscow" and "Leningrad." Ka-25 helicopters took part in demining of Suez Canal - twelve Ka-25BT were used, 188 mission sorties were carried out with 339 flight hours.
The Ka-25 facilitated navigation in the northern latitudes, based on “Siberia” atomic ice breaker. Exploration of the ice situation and navigating ships were usually carried out in adverse weather conditions with limited visibility. Only the Ka-25, equipped with special on-board equipment including an all-round-looking radar, was able to cope with such a difficult task at the time.
The helicopters were exported to India, Syria and Yugoslavia.