The Kamov KA-50 BlackShark (Russian: Чёрная акула, translates to Chornaya Akula) is a Russian attack chopper with the implementation of the distinctive Kamov Coaxial rotor system. Rather than a conventional helicopter design that leverages a large main rotor to produce lift and a smaller anti-torque rotor to prevent the helicopter fuselage from the induced rotation, the coaxial design features two main rotors spinning in opposite directions and cancelling out the rotational tendencies of the main fuselage thusly. The benefits of having such a coaxial design is that both engines produce lift (versus only one engine producing lift), thus increasing the power output of the aircraft and creating an unique and high performance aircraft that will perform excellently at extremes of the flight envelope: the KA-50 is quite capable of doing level turns at high speed, loopings and barrel rolls without the negative repercussions inherent when doing such maneuvers in a conventional helicopter.
The KA-50 prefers to engage its targets at long range in a sniper-like attack profile, contrary to other attack helicopters that may indulge in a more hit-and-run strafing tactic. Although the KA-50 is also certainly capable of performing such a brute attack, it much more favors picking off its (high-value: armored or anti-air) targets one by one using its on-board targetting system and sensors, reserving close in fighting with the gun and rockets for softer targets such as troops, artillery and trucks. The KA-50 features a large and diverse weaponry range, including the integrated Shipunov 2A42 30mm autocannon featured on the BTR-90 and BMD-2 vehicles, the S-8 series 80mm rockets in large volume rocket pods (up to 80 rockets), the laser-guided spin-stabilized 9K121 Vikhr anti-tank missiles (up to 12 missiles) and can also carry dumb iron bombs to be dropped on the targets (quite unique for a helicopter).
- 1 KA-50 Interactive Tutorials
- 2 KA-50 Systems
- 3 KA-50 Strategy
KA-50 Interactive Tutorials
These provide a similar experience to the A-10 tutorials.
KA-50:Cockpit - Familiarization and layout.
KA-50:ABRIS - Finding your way around in the world.
KA-50:PVI-800 - Inertial Navigation Computer
KA-50:Lighting - Interior and exterior lighting.
KA-50:HOTAS - HOTAS Controls and use.
KA-50:Quick Startup - How to get into the air as fast as possible.
Tactical Systems and Situational Awareness
KA-50:LWR - About the Laser Warning Receiver - Too cool for radar.
KA-50:HUD - Information about the HUD.
Communications and Data Sharing
KA-50:Radios - Information about the KA-50 radios and radio usage.
KA-50:Datalink - How to point at things you want your wingman to shoot.
Weapon and defensive systems
KA-50:Weapon Control Panel - Flip switch, go boom.
Avionics and flight systems
Know your target area
Knowing what you need to kill and whats next to what you need to kill is extremely important for ground attack. The inhabitants of the target area dictate what weapons you can safely use to achieve your objective. If the target area is full of SA-15's you cannot safely use your cannon etc. If the mission briefing doesn't tell you what to expect, you should scout it out yourself. Approach up to a safe distance (10km+)of where your target is and take a look around. Not scoping out the area you're about to attack is asking to get shot down. You'd be surprised what you can see with your eyes when you zoom in all the way.
Part of knowing your target area is knowing your limits. If you're target area is a dense city or heavily forested area you should know you won't find everything and will most likely miss units. Keeping this in mind you should never fly directly over a previous target area unless you're doubly sure its clear, usually this means letting someone else go first.
The best advantage you can have is the ability to kill from farther away than you can be killed back. Whenever possible you should engage your targets from safely outside of the effective range of their weapons. You're primary weapon, the 9K121 Vikhr, can be reliably employed from up to 8.9km and further depending on altitude. This means you can out range any short range sam threat in the game. SA-15s, OSAs and Tunguskas are not a problem provided you scouted your approach and know where they are. Most short range SAMS wont engage you past 8.5km, Strela's won't hit past 6, avengers and manpad stingers won't go past 4.5 and laser guided tank fired missiles won't reach past 4. Against AAA threats its good to remember that if you can accurately hit them with your cannon, they can inaccurately flood your immediate airspace with fire and probably get a few hits. Its good to keep in mind that if your laser warning system goes off it almost always means you are currently in range of laser guided missiles from the more advanced tanks. It only takes around 50kph of lateral movement to make them miss but that's no reason to stay so close. If your LWS goes off turn around, reset it until it stops going off then turn back around and find out whats lasing you.
If you can knock out the more serious brands of AAA and SAM threats before you run out of Vihkrs you'll find the cannon extremely useful for cleaning up BMPs and the like before you leave. Emplaced ZU-23's can be dispatched from around 4km using a short burst or two of HE (high explosive) ammo since it only takes 1-2 direct round impacts to destroy them. For most other ground units you can put down effective fire from 2km, and still do some damage out to 3km. Part of a good sortie means doing everything you can with what you have. If you use your cannon effectively you can easily rack up 20 extra kills against softer targets and save yourself the back and forth to get more Vikhrs. When using the cannon in conjunction with the Shkval its best to go with a slow rate of fire for better accuracy. Save the high rate of fire for fast moving targets, enemy helicopters, or panic'd strafing runs.
The damage dealt by the AP (armor piercing) rounds is dependent on their velocity, and therefore the range to the target. While you can actually put AP rounds on target at over 3km, their speed will have decreased substantially and will do a greatly reduced amount of damage. For them to have reasonable effectiveness you'll need to be within 2km, and a distance of 1.5km or less is ideal. HE ammo doesn't suffer from this problem and is equally effective at all ranges, but on the other hand HE rounds do limited damage to anything armored.
Rockets are sloppy at best and will require a lot of practice to use effectively. I rank them lower in usefulness than the cannons purely because of the chance factor. My advice is to use them before you attempt to gun because you never know how lucky you'll get and saving precious cannon rounds is always a good thing. A well placed volley of s-13's can be hugely devastating against a tight group of soft targets.