The experimental design bureau headed by Nikolai Kamov was established on October 7, 1948. The design bureau was later renamed the Ukhtomsky Helicopter Plant, and in 1974, it was named after its chief designer. On February 13, 1991, the Kamov Ukhtomsky Helicopter Plant was assigned the name: Kamov Helicopter Scientific Technical Complex, and from June 1996, it was simply known as Kamov. In 2008, Kamov became part of Russian Helicopters.
An important stage in the bureau’s history and in naval aviation was the first specially engineered Ka-25 in 1961, which was designed to destroy submarines. For combat at sea and safety reasons over unfamiliar water surfaces, a surveillance radar was installed on the Ka-25, the first time this had been done anywhere in the world. The Ka-25 served in the Navy for approximately 30 years.
The next-generation ship-based combat helicopter was the Ka-27. The effectiveness of anti-submarine warships increased significantly with the advent of the Ka-27. New helicopter systems were built for the Navy including the Ka-27PS search and rescue helicopter, the Ka-28 ASW (export version) for amphibious landing, the Ka-29 for fire support and the Ka-31for radar picket. The latter is unique worldwide.
The Ka-31 reconnaissance helicopter is designed to detect long lines of aircraft and cruise missiles, as well as surface ships. Using a powerful surveillance radar, it takes on auto tracking 50 targets. Information about the targets in automatic mode on is transmitted via a telecode channel to the ground-based and naval command and control centres.
Since the early 1980s, the company has expanded work on military subjects, concentrating on rotary-wing attack aircraft: the single-seat Ka-50 Black Shark and its subsequent model, the two-seat multi-purpose all-weather day-and-night Ka-52 Alligator. These machines both use a rotary-wing aircraft platform to deploy powerful and high-precision missiles and cannons.
Instructions from the Defence Ministry led to the development of the high-speed multi-purpose Ka-60 for the army that can carry 12 fully equipped paratroopers, transport goods, and evacuate the wounded. Sixty percent of the Ka-60 frame construction weight comes from polymer composite material, which is more resistant to the effects of battle damage. This is a first in the history of Russian aircraft manufacturing.
One of the bureau’s most important activities is the development of highly efficient helicopters for civilian use. The multi-purpose Ka-32 helicopter has seen wide usage in Russia and worldwide. Its high level of performance, large lift capacity (5 tons), relatively small take-off weight (11 tons) and high level of flight automation have given it a significant advantage in carrying out construction and installation works, transport and rescue operations. The Ka-32 is the only Russian-manufactured helicopter certified by American standards of airworthiness.
A new development for the firm is the multi-purpose Ka-226, with its original design — the cargo-passenger cabin is easily removable, which greatly improves operational efficiency. Low noise and propulsion from two engines allow the helicopter to be operated in large metropolitan areas for a wide range of tasks.
The firm’s creative team of scientists and engineers has developed a comfortable high-speed passenger helicopter, the Ka-62, which has a high transport capacity and is also very fuel efficient.
A new line of work is unmanned helicopters. Together with the research institute, the design bureau has developed a concept of use, type and shape for different types of forces and civilian operators.
During its history, the Kamov design bureau has created a unique research school, with the scientific and technical capacity to build helicopters of all major aerodynamic designs.
Today, Kamov is a modern enterprise that employs highly-qualified aviation specialists.